Patient Comments: Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia - Treatment

Question:

Have you ever been treated for paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia? What treatment did you receive? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: TwinB10, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 12

I've had paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) for about 10 years. The most noticeable thing about my events are they always start with discomfort in my throat out to my neck and ears, then the rapid heart rate up to 200 bpm. They occurred 2 to 4 times a year, totally random, lasting no more than 5 minutes except for one that lasted about 30 while I was exercising. I also experienced irregular and skipped beats more regularly. My cardiologist put me on a beta blocker which has almost eliminated the PSVT incidents though I just had a major one for the first time in a while which led me to this site. I've never been to the hospital for them. I do find holding my breath and bearing down does seem to help end it. Sometimes I have to do it more than once. I don't quite understand the throat discomfort; almost like heartburn but different. But it's always the indicator that I'm about to have one and undoubtedly my heartbeat gets fast and irregular.

Comment from: Shavitto, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 21

My first episode of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia I had at age 34. They have happened even while resting. I have had so many emergency room visits that I have lost count. I would suggest diltiazem, or the old fashioned med verapamil to slow your heart rate. It can take a couple minutes longer. But it is a better feeling than them stopping your heart!

Comment from: robin, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 20

I've had paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) for as long as I can remember, having an episode or two a year. However, as I've gotten older, they seem to last longer and we caught one on an EKG finally. I talked to a cardiologist about ablation, but, honestly, an expensive operation for something that is pretty random! Two months ago, though, while at work, an episode came on and I ended up in the emergency room; heartbeat was about 200 for over two hours, so they gave me adenosine. Within seconds, my heart rate was down to 100. It's a strange feeling when they administer it, but it definitely worked. I am still not sure on doing the ablation, but seriously considering it as this seems to be happening and 'sticking' more frequently. Annoying more than anything else!

Comment from: Jeff, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: December 01

I had a triple heart bypass 2 years ago and I have also had 4 cardioversions for paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT). I now have found out that my late mother had PSVT. She was told she couldn't fly, wonder if the same will apply to me. My cardiologist hasn't told me not to fly.

Comment from: Maggie68, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 25

Over the past year, I've started having episodes of rapid heartbeat, but they would only last 30 seconds to a couple minutes. I would do the vagal maneuvers and sometimes it worked, other times my heart rate would normalize on its own. I have had maybe 6 to 8 episodes since they started, and told my primary care physician (PCP), so she ordered a 48 hour Holter monitor for me. Unfortunately, because they are so random and I can go weeks/months without one, the monitor detected nothing. About 10 days ago, I was at a wound care clinic for hyperbaric oxygen treatment. Before my treatment started, my heart rate sped up, was 185, and the technician called the doctor in. He checked my pulse, said I was sweating profusely (I was cold though), and asked if I was lightheaded or had shortness of breath (I didn't/wasn't). They called 911 and EMTs (emergency medical technicians) came, my heart rate was up to 220 by the time I was in the ambulance and they administered adenosine (which was very scary and weird). In the emergency room my heart rate was back to 130, then 100. I had a CAT scan with contrast to check for clots (negative), they said it was PSVT (paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia). I saw a cardiologist the other day, he referred me for an echocardiogram, and prescribed Cardizem, a calcium channel blocker. I'm nervous about taking it because I took one for hypertension when I was 30 (Plendil) when my PCP and I were trying to figure out the best blood pressure drug for me, and I had a bad reaction. Cardizem is molecularly different from Plendil, but I'm still nervous. I'm seeing a cardiac electrophysiologist on Thursday, for a second opinion (I figured it won't hurt). Since my bad episode 10 days ago, I haven't had another, but am trying to stay calm and relaxed.

Comment from: Chris, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 31

Two years ago I went into the emergency room because I thought I was having a heart attack. I followed up with doctor, she convinced me to wear Holter Monitor, and there were recorded events of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT). We have done two different medications, EKG, electrocardiogram and nuclear stress test; my heart is very healthy, but these episodes just won't quit! Tomorrow I am having an ablation. I am scared but looking forward to life on the other side of this. At 38, it was kind of scary to find out heart was acting up. But I can't wait to be normal and back to an active lifestyle.

Comment from: Jillheart, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 24

I have had paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia for several years. They are anywhere from a couple of minutes to several hours. It is very tiring when they last that long. I do take medications for the SVT and I am not sure if it helps because I still get them all the time. It is scary going to the emergency room. After 3 1/2 hours at 172 bpm I finally went in. They gave me adenosine through IV and in seconds I was good. Weird feeling when you have it done.

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Comment from: Dave, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: May 04

I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, and paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia. I had the ablation procedure in April 2014 and have been doing pretty good since then. I've had some extra beats (which were scary) but things seem to be quieting down. I'm still on blood thinners (Eliquis), it is expensive and my big toe nails have turned black!

Comment from: chargergirl, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 31

I just had adenosine administered last night as I couldn't break the paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) cycle. I have had this conditions for over 30 years. I am scared to death to go through an ablation.

Comment from: Glambo, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 17

My first episode of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) happened when I was 40 and I felt like I was going to pass out. I was treated with an ablation but I had to continue taking atenolol. Since, I have developed another PSVT and am taking an increased dose of atenolol, which makes me very tired (I also have fibromyalgia).

Comment from: Jean, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: October 09

I had symptoms of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) for about 2 years now, where my heart would flutter. And since I was always under a lot of stress, my normal doctors said it was panic attacks. But then they started happening more often. The last episode I had happened while I was home before I had to work. My heart fluttered like it does and then my heart started to beat rapidly. Now usually it stops but this time it never did. I went to work and about 3 hours in, I almost passed out. My chest was tight, couldn't breathe and I felt really weak. My manager ended up calling my ride and my ride ended up taking me to the hospital. I was in the emergency room (ER) for a very long time it seemed since they hooked me up to a heart monitor and saw that my heart rate was around 130. After a couple of hours, they witnessed my heart rate increase to the 200s, when I just moved my leg. So they decided to keep me over night, and they also saw that when I was sleeping, my heart rate went to the 100s again. So the following morning, my doctor came in and diagnosed me with PSVT. He explained what it was and it made a lot of sense. He put me on beta blockers and they seem to be helping but not when I'm at work.

Comment from: gerry, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: April 16

I started having these episodes of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PST) in my early 20s. Over the years I was given medications like valium and Xanax. They were only minimally effective. Also the episodes seemed to start up in the early spring. I discovered, later in life, the thing that help the most were the following: 1.) Cut out sodium from my diet. 2.) Take about 1200 milligrams of potassium per day including bananas. 3.) Take about 300 milligrams of magnesium per day.

Comment from: katie, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 13

My first episode happened at work about a year and a half ago, I nearly blacked out and was taken to the hospital via ambulance. They couldn't give me any answers, my ECG was abnormal and lab tests were fine. My doctor ordered an event recorder and an echo; I wore the event recorder for 3 weeks and had 70 recorded events of fast rate and 30 or more of rates in the 30s. Being puzzled she sent me to an electro-physiologist and with 3 more types of monitors he gave me a diagnosis of PSVT (paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia). He placed me on Lopressor and flecainide twice a day and I was finally symptom free. Daily episodes are exhausting! I then became pregnant and cannot take the flecainide. The Lopressor helps but I still will have weeks with rates in the 130s to 150s for several hours at a time and it is exhausting! I think after this baby I am going to look into an ablation so I won't have to go through this forever!

Comment from: Stephen, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: January 02

I had my 1st episode of PSVT (paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia) the other day and it was the scariest thing I ever encountered. I thought I was having a heart attack. I've been stressed the last few weeks but enjoyed a nice Christmas break with family and friends. My heart rate was over 200 bpm and my blood pressure was 195/110 when I reached the emergency room. The first dose of adenosine did not slow the heart rate down so they gave my Inderal 6 mg, followed by Inderal 12. I felt so weird but the heart rate slowed down and I felt much better. I stayed overnight for evaluation, wore a Holter monitor, had a nuclear stress test and now on a beta blocker and sedative. I'm hoping we can find what triggered this, scary for a 38 year old.

Comment from: Wilson, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 27

About 15 to 20 years ago I started having the feeling that either blood was rushing to my head or a “feeling” in my head that I would feel like I might pass out. I never did but would sometimes go to my knees so if I did I would not fall. I would hold on and stand still if in public. I went to an ear, nose and throat specialist. Nothing found. I had heart test, always normal. These symptoms worsened over about a year. I was in a store one day and had a bad episode. The next day I planned on going back to see if it would happen again. I did not go because I was having them just waiting until I was able to get up to go. They were almost back to back in timing. When I got to hospital I could not raise my head to check in. My blood pressure was 60 over 40. They put heart monitors on me and I had a full blown episode. I thought I was going to die this time because they called for a crash cart and gave me a shot that they told me would give me a burning sensation in my heart. It did and was very scary. A wonderful doctor who was familiar with this was called in and he knew all about me when I explained all I had felt and couldn't get help. He explained that by the time I would go for help my heart was acting normal; unless I had hit on someone who could understand my situation. With medication and a scheduled ablation he kept me functioning. When I had the ablation I had to electrical impulses and he was able to "zap" the largest one and the small one did not show up so I was left with that one to live with. After trying 2 drugs that left me feeling so sluggish, we hit on Sectral and it worked and I felt more normal. I have taken Sectral (400) mg a day and have done fine.

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Comment from: Vinnief, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: July 16

I grew up with these episodes appearing to occur by fight or flight events as if triggered by an adrenalin rush or sudden shock. Deep breathing exercises would always stop these events within minutes. Ultimately at age 59, the last event lasted 25 minutes by the time I reached an ICU ward and a defibrillator was used to effect normal rhythm. Following this were all the possible heart tests, including an MRI. On the fourth day, an electrophysiology study was conducted by wires inserted into an artery in the groin to my heart, where a rogue nerve or node was located and then ablated by laser. I have been told it was successful, but since my episodes had only seemed to occur about once every 12 months, I won't be travelling by plane or going to remote locations just in case. The procedure is relatively pain free but is conducted under sedation only.

Comment from: brittany, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: July 22

I was diagnosed last night with paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT)! It was so scary. What made me go to the emergency room was, I was dizzy, and I could feel my heart beating really fast. I went to my grandma's house, and took my blood pressure (BP) and pulse; it was 186 beats per minute and my BP was 111/85. I then went in to the hospital, when I got there I fell and they took my pulse again and it had reached 210 beats per min. It raised from 186 to 210 in less than 20 minutes. The scariest thing I have ever been through. They said that if I would have waited any longer I could have died. It is very serious.

Comment from: sini, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 18

I am now 38 years old I had PSVT (paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia) at the age of 25 after the fifth day of my marriage. In the morning when I was taking bath I felt something empty in the chest and my heart beat increased and I felt a little tired. But I didn"t take care. At night vomiting started and I was taken to the hospital early morning and DC shock was given. After that I have had 6 episodes of PSVT and I am now taking beta blocker only. Regular check up with the cardiologist is going on.

Comment from: hennhouse, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 08

I am newly diagnosed with paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia. This is my first week of beta-blocker therapy.

Comment from: Iva, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 29

I have had several episodes over the last 20 years (about 15 episodes I'd say). Doesn't seem to matter time of day or activity. I have been at work, watching TV, playing cards, or just walking through a store. My heart have been anywhere from 160 to 222. Sometimes the valsalvas stops the episode. When it doesn't, I call 911 for transport to a hospital. In actuality, the EMT's give me a dose of Adenazine, which basically stops the heart and then kick starts it again at a normal rhythm. This is the scarey part! So far it has restarted, but it always makes me nervous! My last episode was early yesterday morning. The 1st time ever it woke me from sleep. I am seriously thinking about having an ablation done. I have a follow up apt. with my cardiologist on Wed. and intend to ask what is involved with an ablation.

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