Are ectopic heart beats serious?
Q: I have been taking atenolol 50 mg twice and amlodepine 5 mg twice plus losar 50 mg twice. I had occasional ventricular premature beats or occasional ventricular ectopics. I consulted a doctor and he says I have a benign ventricular premature contractions or beats i.e. PVC. He further says that EPS study is not suggested since it is not atrial and it is ventricular. Sometimes, I have extra systole and sometimes not, but definitely causes discomfort whenever happens. 1. What is its significance since my LV systolic functions are good and LVEF 60%, what should I do and whether it is serious? 2. My doctor says no to diuretics and suggests plain Losartan. What is your advice?
A:The ectopics which you get seem to me as harmless. Ectopic beats in presence of a normal heart function with a good LVEF do not need any specific measures. I do hope that a stress test has been carried out on you and that is negative. Regarding the choice of drugs. As long as BP is less than 130-140 / 80-85 mms the treatment you are getting is adequate. Your physician may be avoiding diuretics because of ectopics and diuretic may lead to low potassium levels. However, they are not contraindicated. I do hope you are in addition taking a statin group of drug (may be 10 mgs of atorvastatin) under supervision and 50-75 mgs of aspirin. These adjuncts are highly recommended in addition to low salt diet and regular exercise.