Patient Comments: Pericarditis - Symptoms and Signs

What symptoms and signs did you experience with your pericarditis?

Comment from: heather1012, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

A few years back I started getting run down and very tired. It was not abnormal as both my boys were in hockey and in school so I was running around a lot with them plus I worked a full time job. However, I noticed when I went to bed at night the pressure on my chest was unbelievable. After a week, I had to sleep sitting up. I went to the doctor and he said I must have strained a muscle and prescribed me muscle relaxants. It didn't help and the next week I went back. This time they told me it was an anxiety attack and that I should slow down. Well, by this point I had, because I could barely breathe. The third time I went, my husband had to take me to emergency and again they said it was a pulled muscle but my husband insisted on tests. So they started an EKG (electrocardiography) which was excruciating because I had to lie down. Luckily, a friend of ours who just happens to be the cardiologist was walking by and asked what was wrong. I told him and he checked me out right then and there. He knew right away that it was a viral pericarditis and discussed the matter with all the previous doctors I had seen. I was prescribed prednisone which took 8 weeks to minimize the symptoms. I still get a "sore heart" every once in a while but it only lasts a day or so and doesn't require medications.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: dovely, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 21

It has been miserable -we ate at a beautiful five star restaurant in Moralia, Mexico. The food seemed good and we were reassured the ice was made with bottled water. The trouble started within 24 hours.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: carina, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 17

I'm a 42 year old female. I had flu symptoms and a bit of a sore lower jaw. I did not pay much attention. When my flu symptoms went away and was actually feeling better, I woke at 2 a.m. in the morning with severe pain on my neck, chest, and lower jaw. I also have a constant pain that only makes it worse with every breath. I've read before that the lower jaw pain could be the heart, woke my husband up to take me to the hospital. I was diagnosed with pericarditis and given anti-inflammatories and pain killers. I was also in ICU for three days. I am currently waiting to see a Cardiologist, but just two days ago I felt the jaw pain mildly all day so I took pills that night (the anti-inflammatories) and woke up fine the next day.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Gayle, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 14

I was diagnosed with on October 30, 2012. It is now February 13 and still suffering. Initially, I had severe chest pain in the middle and left sideDifficulty breathing, extreme pain in left shoulder, ear ache, inflamed throat, couldn't lean back or bend over. It was painful. I had Morphine in the hospital. Only drug that eased pain was Prednisone. I take Nabumetone 750mg. He did not give me Colchicine.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: kchurch91, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 04

I woke up in the morning with severe pain in my throat. Later on it was in the middle of my chest and then in the middle of my back. The pain was so bad I could not breathe. I was admitted in the hospital and the next night the pain went to my left arm and back. I was given 6 mg of morphine within an hour the pain was so bad. I do have rheumatoid arthritis so my doctor gave me 90mgs of prednisone and then I'm on 60mgs a day which has helped a great deal.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Pericarditis-YUM!, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: November 21

Tight, crushing sensation in chest, which at times radiated down my left arm. Palpitations, fever, dry cough, fatigue. Deep breaths made it feel like my left lung and heart were rubbing together. Night sweats, got worse when lying down. Also, lots of anxiety because I didn't know what was happening. Dizziness, lightheadedness, could barely walk up a flight of stairs.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 27

I am a 39 year old female with pericarditis. I initially first noticed something was wrong when I was walking up a steep hill at a waterpark with my kids. I am in very good shape and this was very abnormal to be short of breath. I had an episode last year where I fainted and hit my head on a railroad tie. The doctor is unclear if these two are related, but I do have abnormal T waves on my EKG as well as one side of my heart is enlarged from the pericarditis. The anti-inflammatories actually do not seem to help and are very hard on my stomach. I have good days and I have bad days. This has been going on for almost two months now. I am going to see a cardiologist next week. They will most likely do another echocardiogram to see how it is doing. Hopefully by then it will be better. I am not getting discouraged it is just a little frustrating being so young and being held back from being as active as I normally am. Keeping my spirits up though that this shall too pass.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Pericarditis - Describe Your Experience Question: Please describe your experience with 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.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors