Patient Comments: Pericarditis - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with pericarditis.

Published: July 29

I am a 31 year old male who just got diagnosed with having pericarditis. I was experiencing discomfort in my left shoulder, like a sharp pain. This began in the morning on a Wednesday. It was Friday evening of the same week when I tried to lay down to go to sleep when I experienced a sharp pain in my chest which did not allow me to breathe very well. It did not matter if I went on my back or on my stomach; even on my side I still felt the pressure to my chest. I went to the emergency at 4:30am to find out what was going on and at first they thought I may have a bladder problem because one indication of that begins with pain in your shoulder as well. But after doing some blood tests, a few EKG's and an x-ray of my heart they determined I had inflammation of my heart (Pericarditis). They gave me a prescription of some drugs and I am currently recovering at home just trying to take it easy and hope that I am okay.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Superman, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: April 22

I was sleeping and woke up in the middle of the night with severe chest pains. My left arm was numb, and I had a tingling feeling in the back of my neck and chin. I was flipping out because I thought I was having a heart attack at 24. It scared the living bejesus out of me! I was diagnosed with pericarditis and was off work for about a week. I had no other symptoms.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: country nana, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 25

I was diagnosed with pericarditis in August of 2008. The pain was in my back, chest, and the worst pain was between my breasts. I could not sleep lying down. I slept in my husband's big recliner. I had lots of weakness and didn't want to eat. I was not sick before that time. The emergency room ran many tests, and that is the only thing they came up with. I was given prednisone for a few days and put on oxygen because my pulse rate was too high. I spent three months on oxygen. No underlying cause was found as to why I developed pericarditis. While in the hospital, I was given morphine that really helped the pain ease up. I did not take any anti-inflammatory medications. I am fine now and do not want a recurrence of pericarditis. I had never heard of this disease before and just recently have had two other friends diagnosed with it.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 03

I have had viral pericarditis since 1999. It is something that I have made some lifestyle adjustments to help alleviate the symptoms. For the most part, I am symptom-free. I have had to learn to not get so upset as my stress level tends to lead to symptoms. At times, however, the symptoms are bad enough that I have made several trips to the ER. I now take blood pressure medication as I have developed high blood pressure. I monitor my blood pressure closely as this tends to tell me when I am starting to be symptomatic again. Ibuprofen, when taken early enough, seems to alleviate the pain and swelling.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Dailah, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 03

All I can say is listen to your body. I didn't even know there was something like this out there. I had mid-back pain all week long and was really tired all week too. All of a sudden, it felt like the pain spread around me like a corset. I was admitted to the hospital with back pain and shortness of breath. I couldn't lie down without horrible pain and my breathing was shallow. I wasn't getting enough oxygen. Many tests later, they ruled out a blood clot in my lungs and confirmed the pericarditis diagnosis. Be prepared for many tests: EKGs, ultrasounds, X-rays, and CT scans. A word to the wise: Pain-med narcotics do not ease the pain; they just mask it so that you can sleep, you still feel the pain. It's the anti-inflammitories that really help. Listen to your body. If your back hurts with no good reason and you can't breath, go to the hospital!

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: February 06

I am a 39-year-old male suffering from pericarditis. I was diagnosed with this disease three years ago, and since that time, I was hospitalized on at least three different occasions. Recently, the chest pain came back. However, unlike before, the pain is constant and much sharper. My doctor put me on ibuprofrin 800 as well as an anti-inflammatory medicine.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: 13-18 Male (Caregiver) Published: November 17

My 16-year-old son complained of mild chest pain and back pain for two months. He also had an intermittent low-grade temperature. Several visits to the doctor gave no answer to the problem. One night he began having severe chest and upper back and became short of breath. In the ER an echo test and a cardiologist diagnosed pericarditis. He was hospitalized, treated with Motrin and antibiotics, and released in four days. He is feeling much better.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Pericarditis - Symptoms and Signs Question: What symptoms and signs did you experience with your pericarditis?
Pericarditis - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment or procedures did you or a relative receive for pericarditis?
Pericarditis - Causes Question: Did an inflammatory disease or infection cause your pericarditis? What was the cause?

Patient Comments are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on MedicineNet. The opinions expressed in the comments section are of the author and the author alone. MedicineNet does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Alert If you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.