Medication for PVCs - Diltiazem
Since my dual chamber PM was put in at the beginning of February for second degree heart block just at night, I have been having thousands of ectopic beats when I am resting - PVCs. My settings have been changed several times and now I am on a 'guardian angel' setting - back up VVI at 35 bpm. So I am only sensed and paced in the ventricle - nothing in the atrium. This has improved the situation but not got rid of it. When I asked if these extra beats could be dangerous, he said "well they probably won't kill you"! Very reassuring!
My EP thinks these ectopic beats can be suppressed with a calcium channel antagonist but this runs the risk of prolonging the AV delay and increasing my pacemaker requirements.
I have been taking amlodipine for many years for hypertension and he has recommended I convert from amolodipine to DILTIAZEM 120mg and he hopes this will suppress the ectopic beats without increasing my pacing requirements. I have heard bad reports about some of these drugs and I wondered if anyone is taking diltiazem? He has also mentioned ablations and I am feeling upset that my PM seems to have caused more problems than it has cured - these extra beats, tiredness, lethargy and some breathlessness. Some of these symptoms have got less now that the PM is hardly on!
Any help on Diltiazem would be appreciated.
Sue from London