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)

See what others are saying

Comment from: lynnsp, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 15

I've been taking ibuprofen lately for lower back pain. I take it rarely. I'm having PVCs (premature ventricular contractions) which leave me breathless and tired. I'm wondering if others have experienced this sensation with Ibuprofen. I've had PVCs in the past but not recently. It's likely I was using Ibuprofen then.

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Comment from: ladyk, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 17

I have never had premature ventricular contractions (PVC) before and they really scared me. I get them here and there but when I have indigestion or heartburn I belch and they start, but when I go walking or moving around very active I don't feel them at all. But if I am sitting around I can feel them. My doctor told me I could have stress and worry. I may have a few worries. I have changed my diet and losing weight at one time I thought maybe it was me changing my eating habits. She did blood test and they came back normal. But I still need to know so they are doing an ultrasound on me next week and I will be wearing a monitor to see what my heart is doing. I am hoping that everything is ok. My doctor states she may put me on beta blockers to try and stop them. But I promise I will get to the bottom of this issue.

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