Posted 11/8/2009 12:07 AM (GMT -7)
Hi I'm new here, and have the same problem with the fast heart rate. I went in to see my family doctor last week because I thought I had an upper respiratory infection. I had chest pains, shortness of breath, even some shoulder and arm pain, but since I've been dealing with allergies, I just assumed it was chest congestion, especially since I would occasionally cough.
The doctor listened to my heart and had me do an EKG and chest x-ray. He says the OTC decongestants I have been taking every day for years has caused my heart to beat too fast. (Incidentally, he was the one who told me I could take the decongestants everyday in the first place). He has put me on Inderal LA 60 mg to take at night. He said I would be on it for "awhile" if not the rest of my life. He also said I can't take decongestants, drink caffeine or alcohol, eat chocolate, citrus fruits, tomatoes, garlic, or onions. He didn't tell me how fast my heart rate was but I am guessing it was pretty fast to tell me all of this. The doctor isn't one to give out a lot of information and I've had problems with him in the past with him not telling me stuff.
I hate to admit it, but this whole situation scares me really badly. I'm 42 years old and healthy besides this (never smoked, don't eat fried foods, watch my weight). Here are my questions (I know you all are not doctors, but I'm just wondering what you have seen or experienced):
How serious is my condition? Am I at risk for a stroke or heart attack? What should I watch for?
Can I exercise at all? Walk?
Do I need to avoid stress and strenuous activity? Can I work?
How long does it take for the Inderal to work? I can tell my heart rate has slowed a little, but I still have intermittent chest pain, and it feels like an elephant is sitting on my chest. The area right under my rib cage hurts too (he said the muscle can become sore from the intense beating of my heart) and it feels really hot right along my breast bone edge.
Can I take tylenol for the pain?
He gave me some Singulair for my allergies -- is there any problem taking this with the Inderal? I'm also on zoloft for depression; is there a problem with that?
Will I really have to be on Inderal for years?
I know I should ask the doctor these questions, and I did try to call the office but the nurse never called back. I will try again on Monday, but in the meantime, if you could give me just an idea of the answers to my questions, it might relieve my mind.
Thank you so much. Any suggestions on how to get used to this would be great to hear. I'm having a hard time with this.