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: Indiana, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: October 15

I am a 43 year old male and I have been diagnosed with PVCs (premature ventricular contractions). They are benign but bothersome. Causes seem to be 1) adrenaline rushes (when I'm coaching), 2) caffeine, 3) lawn mowing, 4) biking and 5) standing after eating a full meal. Strangely, they don't bother me when I run or when I'm asleep.

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Comment from: Dee, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 16

I had two episodes of atrial fibrillation in three weeks, was given Rythmol to convert successfully. Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) began after second atrial fibrillation when the doctor put me on Rythmol three times daily to prevent atrial fibrillation. It is horrible, depressing, and hard to live your life normally. The doctor will begin dropping Rythmol dose soon, atrial fibrillation may return. It may not be the medication but never had PVCs before Rythmol.

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