Re: Low Heart Rate??
Bradycardia (low heart rate) is defined as <60 BPM. Are you taking any sedatives or any other medications beside Altace? Any potassium supplements?
Disturbances in metabolism (e.g., low thyroid levels) or electrolyte balance (e.g., high or low potassium levels) can cause bradycardia.
ALTACE adverse effects (partial list)
Since ramipril (Altace) decreases aldosterone secretion, elevation of serum potassium can occur. Potassium supplements and potassium-sparing diuretics should be given with caution, and the patient's serum potassium should be monitored frequently.
Hyperkalemia: In clinical trials, hyperkalemia (serum potassium greater than 5.7 mEq/l) occurred in approximately 1% of hypertensive patients receiving ramipril (Altace). In most cases, these were isolated values, which resolved despite continued therapy. None of these patients was discontinued from the trials because of hyperkalemia. Risk factors for the development of hyperkalemia include renal insufficiency, diabetes mellitus, and the concomitant use of potassium-sparing diuretics, potassium supplements, and/or potassium-containing salt substitutes, which should be used cautiously, if at all, with ramipril.
The hormone aldosterone (see the aldosterone test) regulates kidney excretion of sodium and potassium. Lack of aldosterone can result in hyperkalemia with an increase in total body potassium.
Hyperkalemia is often asymptomatic. Occasionally, the following signs or symptoms may be seen:
The pulse may be slow or irregular.
Serum potassium is high.
ECG may show potentially lethal arrhythmias:
Bradycardia that progressively slows.
Heart block that may become complete heart block.
ECG may show changes indicative of hyperkalemia.
Irregular heartbeat (this may be an emergency symptom if prolonged or severe)
Slow, weak, or absent pulse (emergency symptom)
In an emergency, it is treated with intravenous calcium.
Medlineplus gives this information below, on sodium bicarbonate. I tried a pinch of baking soda once, because I thought that my serum potassium was high, and it made me sick. I would advise you to monitor your heart rate and go for emergency treatment if your heart rate decreases further, or you start to have arrhythmias.
Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) causes potassium to shift from extracellular to intracellular fluids. It may reverse hyperkalemia caused by acidosis with no other treatment required. Prolonged use of sodium bicarbonate should be avoided because it may cause severe complications.