Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVCs) - Causes

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What causes premature ventricular contractions?

There are many causes of premature ventricular contractions, which include:

  • heart attack;
  • high blood pressure;
  • cardiomyopathy, including congestive heart failure;
  • disease of heart valves such as mitral valve prolapse;
  • hypokalemia (low blood levels of potassium), and hypomagnesemia (low blood levels of magnesium) -- hypokalemia and hypomagnesemia can occur, for example, in patients taking diuretics (water pills);
  • hypoxia (low amounts of oxygen in the blood), for example, hypoxia occurs with lung diseases such as emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD);
  • medications such as digoxin (Lanoxin), aminophylline (Phyllocontin, Truphylline), tricyclic antidepressants, and ephedrine-containing, decongestants;
  • excessive intake of alcohol;
  • excess caffeine intake;
  • stimulant drug use such as cocaine, and amphetamines;
  • myocarditis (heart muscle inflammation) and cardiac contusion (heart muscle injury), and
  • premature ventricular contractions also occur in healthy individuals without heart diseases.
Return to Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVCs, PVC)

See what others are saying

Comment from: francois, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: January 27

I take prednisone 5 milligrams for my cluster headaches. This is the only medication which works for me. Fifteen minutes after I take this medication, I am pain free.

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Comment from: Mel, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 06

I have been fighting a cough for the last month. I have had 4 sinus infections that end up with this horrible cough every time over the last five months, treated each time with antibiotics and steroids. I went to the ENT and found out I am allergic to everything outside. Well, I have had the latest cough for a month, sinus is clear, chest x-ray was fine, pulmonary function test fine. I was sent back to my family practitioner. It seems all of this hard coughing day and night have sent my premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) into overdrive. I would have one occasionally. Now they are all day and eating sends them into a frenzy. I keep reading about thyroid and wonder if that is an underlying cause for everything even though the enormous amount of allergies seems more sensible. I have 3 siblings 1 with hypothyroid and 1 with hyperthyroid. I am under a lot of stress right now also. I hate night time because it seems like once or twice a night my diaphragm just jumps and make me cough.

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