Patient Comments: Pericarditis - Symptoms and Signs

What symptoms and signs did you experience with your pericarditis?

Comment from: bob, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 10

I had severe pain in center of chest moving into my shoulders. The pain stayed static, and I had put it down to indigestion as I suffer from that. I also suffer from COPD and arthritis, and my wife made me go to the hospital where eventually a prescription of ibuprofen and paracetamol gradually eased the pain. I had a slight recurrence a few days later but nothing since. The doctor believes it was pericarditis, and I am now going to be attending the cardio unit for further tests.

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Comment from: Gaynor, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: November 12

I first noticed crackling in the back of my throat when I was resting and shallow breathing which had been going on for about six weeks and a dry irritating cough. And one morning when I got out of my bed to go to the bathroom I suddenly got this heavy sharp feeling in my chest and throat and in my back. I thought I was having the beginnings of a heart attack, I felt like I had a cannonball in my chest and throat. I went to see my doctor that morning and he gave me an ECG which he thought looked normal and told me that I had reflux which I thought was very strange. Three weeks later I still felt unwell and was finding it hard to hold a conversation when I was walking because I was feeling short of breath and going upstairs was making me feel also short of breath, and I was also feeling very anxious about how I felt and found I had lost my appetite and suffered from nausea quite badly, and my stomach also did a lot of grumbling. I eventually made a private appointment to go and see a specialist where he very quickly diagnosed pericarditis. I have been taken colchicine 500 mcg for the last 6 weeks and Naproxen 500 mcg for the last three weeks to try and speed things up. The pain in my chest is no longer there but the pain in my back between my shoulder blades is still there, always at its worst in the mornings. I look forward to feeling myself again soon but it is taken longer than I was led to believe.

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Comment from: Cardi, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 22

I had the flu, took regular multivitamins, and after a few days I was ok; or so I thought. I started coughing, this continued for days then I started feeling pain in my chest more to the left side. Anything that caused the lung to be inflated including deep breath, sneeze, or yawn, I just have to cut it short as it feels like the lung is touching the heart. I saw a doctor, got anti-inflammatory medications but still feel the pain. I was sent to do blood tests including HIV as I started night sweats and fever. Then the echocardiogram showed pericarditis, the damage to the lining of the heart and lung. Hey, be careful, flu can kill.

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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.

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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.

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Patient Comments

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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?

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