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  • extra beats = sinus tachycardia and now I can't take decongestants?!

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    Old 10-26-2005, 03:24 PM   #1
    r0cky
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    extra beats = sinus tachycardia and now I can't take decongestants?!

    Long story made short:
    I had an event monitor because I was having palpitations. Most of the things I recorded happened after walking to class or exercising, so my heart rate was faster than "resting". 5 months after the test, my doctor realized she hadn't received the results from the cardiologist office. When she did receive them, it said "sinus tachycardia". She didn't care that it was just stuff like 90 bpm or 100 bpm right after exercise, she said they wrote that it was sinus tachycardia and therefore, that's what it was. So she prescribed toprol-xl which I took for four days before going back and telling her it was making me feel horrible - my chest hurt (and hadn't before), my heart rate was 50 bpm, I had no energy, I felt like a zombie, etc.

    So then she sent me to a different cardiologist.

    The new cardiologist looked at the event monitor results from my other doctor and said that yes, it said sinus tachycardia, but that was just a possible diagnosis based solely on the number of bpm. In talking to me, observing my heartrate for an hour, and discussing things with me, she said there were justifiable reasons for all the things she saw on the event monitor recordings - the increase in heartrate, etc., as attributed to the fact that I had been exercising or just walked to class, and that I didn't need to be on any kind of medication for it.

    She set me up with a 24 hour monitor just to be sure (mostly to reassure me), and when the results came back, she said everything was fine and that the only thing it showed were some extra beats from the top part of my heart, but nothing to worry about and nothing irregular other than that.

    Well, now I'm sick, so I went to my regular doctor and she decided I had a sinus infection and strep throat. She gave me some penicillin, and was about to give me some decongestants but looked at my records and said it was too dangerous for me to be taking those because they could "make my heartrate speed up even more". Yes, I understand that decongestants have that effect, but I was under the impression from the new cardiologist that there was no problem.

    I told this to my doctor, she looked again and said, "No see, you have sinus tachycardia! Your heart goes too fast!" I said, "The cardiologist said the rate was fine, and that all there were were some extra beats." And my doctor replied, "Yes, sinus tachycardia!"

    So my question is ... is sinus tachycardia the same as extra beats?! I have done a lot of research on all of these things, as I like to be informed about these issues, and I was under the impression that extra beats were not the same as sinus tachycardia.

    Now I am incredibly congested still, feeling like heck, and too scared to take a decongestant because the doctors are telling me two different things!

    I thought that sinus tachycardia was a heartrate of 100bpm or faster while still in sinus rhythm, and that extra beats were something totally different.

    Help!!!

     
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    Old 10-26-2005, 05:02 PM   #2
    jpos
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    Re: extra beats = sinus tachycardia and now I can't take decongestants?!

    Extra beats are usually PAC's or PVC's (premature beats), since yours are from the top I suppose they are PAC's. Your dr. is incorrect calling that sinus tachy. I am being treated for IST (inappropriate sinus tachy) and another heart prob and am not supposed to take decongestants, but I do when I am downright miserable. I felt ok. I am not saying you should do this if you are being treated for heart probs, but I don't believe your primary is correct. Maybe ask the 2nd cardio to spell it out for your dr.

     
    Old 10-26-2005, 05:59 PM   #3
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    Re: extra beats = sinus tachycardia and now I can't take decongestants?!

    It seems as tho with these types of problems there is not always a clear cut answer/diagnosis. I have either SVT or IST (I get fast heart rate for no apparent reason and PVCs)..not sure which..but they are treated the same (usually) so I take medicine and I am ok. BUT I make sure to stay clear of any stimulants (including caffiene) to be on the safe side. Decongestants especially. When I feel like you do..I take hot steamy baths, saline nasal spray, vaporizer, and even an antihistamine may help. It sucks..I know.

     
    Old 10-26-2005, 06:17 PM   #4
    r0cky
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    Re: extra beats = sinus tachycardia and now I can't take decongestants?!

    Yeah, but that's the thing - my heart rate was only above 100 bpm when I was exercising ... so the cardiologist said I did NOT have sinus tachycardia ... but now my regular doctor says that I do, and that is what "extra beats" are ... and I know that isn't right ... So, I dunno.

    It's just confusing, I feel like they are both telling me different things.

     
    Old 10-26-2005, 06:35 PM   #5
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    Re: extra beats = sinus tachycardia and now I can't take decongestants?!

    Thats what I am saying. I had one cardio tell me SVT..another IST..I still do not know for sure..it is frustrating.

    BUT all I am saying, is why take the chance ya know??

     
    Old 10-27-2005, 01:01 PM   #6
    NatashaW
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    Re: extra beats = sinus tachycardia and now I can't take decongestants?!

    Should I be careful of taking over the counter cold medicine/decongestants because of my MVP (I take diltiazem, a calcium channel blocker). No one mentioned anything to me. I get sinus infections all the time and I'll be miserable if I can't take decongestants.

     
    Old 10-27-2005, 02:43 PM   #7
    r0cky
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    Re: extra beats = sinus tachycardia and now I can't take decongestants?!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NatashaW
    Should I be careful of taking over the counter cold medicine/decongestants because of my MVP (I take diltiazem, a calcium channel blocker). No one mentioned anything to me. I get sinus infections all the time and I'll be miserable if I can't take decongestants.
    I don't think MVP would require that you avoid those things ... a fast heart rate would, I guess, because the decongestant is a stimulant that will cause it to speed up anyway. But with MVP if you're fine otherwise, I think it is just fine to take over the counter cold medicine / decongestants.

    Funny thing is, I've been taking decongestants all my life - including right up to when my doctor told me not to this past Monday - and never noticed an increased heart rate, and definitely nothing over 100 bpm.

     
    Old 10-28-2005, 08:30 AM   #8
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    Re: extra beats = sinus tachycardia and now I can't take decongestants?!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by r0cky
    Yeah, but that's the thing - my heart rate was only above 100 bpm when I was exercising ... so the cardiologist said I did NOT have sinus tachycardia ... but now my regular doctor says that I do, and that is what "extra beats" are ... and I know that isn't right ... So, I dunno.

    It's just confusing, I feel like they are both telling me different things.
    rcky,

    Sinus tachycardia by definition is a fast HR. Extra or skipped beats are an arrythmetic (timing) problem. It is important to make the distinction because each disorder requires different treatment and management and it is possible to have both conditions at the same time.

     
    Old 10-28-2005, 09:53 AM   #9
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    Re: extra beats = sinus tachycardia and now I can't take decongestants?!

    We need to remember though, there is appropriate sinus tachycardia. Like a response to exercise, fever, stress, etc.

     
    Old 10-28-2005, 11:20 AM   #10
    r0cky
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    Re: extra beats = sinus tachycardia and now I can't take decongestants?!

    yeah, what got me the diagnosis from my internist was having 110 bpm after walking from class to the parking garage and up 8 flights of stairs. she didn't care about that part, but said it was sinus tachycardia and that i needed beta blockers for it.

    so then my resting heart rate was 50 bpm and i felt horrible.

    the cardiologist said i didn't have sinus tachycardia that needed medicine, that it was a normal response to exercise that had caused my heart rate to rise.

    i just took a decongestant a few hours ago because i was miserable. no change in heart rate or rhythm.

     
    Old 10-28-2005, 12:10 PM   #11
    jpos
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    Re: extra beats = sinus tachycardia and now I can't take decongestants?!

    The other day when I was at my primary's office after getting examined I got off the table and my heart rate was 126 bpm. And that was after sitting in the chair a few steps away for 1 hr., reading. Before meds they had caught my heart rate at 170 just resting. That's tachycardia, IST. So far today the med increase hasn't helped, because just getting up and walking around it goes to 126 bpm (seems to like that rate ;o) ). I am hopeful it will start being effective soon. The beta blocker was much more effective, but unfort. a side effect is depression.

     
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