Submitted by Dr T on September 12, 2011 – 8:17am
Anxiety doesn’t cause atrial fibrillation! Your shortness of breath may be a side effect of atenolol, not everybody tolerates Beta blockers. Although clonidine is an old drug used for the treatment of high blood pressure, it is usually not the first choice. Since clonidine can reduce heart rate, it should be used cautiously in persons who are receiving other medications that lower heart rate such as beta-blockers.
Some of the more common blood pressure drugs include diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin-2 receptor blockers (ARB), beta-blockers (BB) and calcium channel blockers (CCB). Some of these may also be prescribed for heart failure and arrhythmia patients.
In answer to your questions:
- Although AF itself usually isn’t life-threatening, it is a serious medical condition.
- Patients with new-onset AF should take coumadin, but if you have had AF for a long time, a baby aspirin daily is appropriate.
Hope this helps