"This book is incredibly complete and easy-to-understand for anybody. I certainly recommend it for patients who want to know more about atrial fibrillation than what they will learn from doctors...."

Pierre Jaïs, M.D. Professor of Cardiology, Haut-Lévêque Hospital, Bordeaux, France

"Dear Steve, I saw a patient this morning with your book [in hand] and highlights throughout. She loves it and finds it very useful to help her in dealing with atrial fibrillation."

Dr. Wilber Su Cavanaugh Heart Center, Phoenix, AZ

"Your book [Beat Your A-Fib] is the quintessential most important guide not only for the individual experiencing atrial fibrillation and his family, but also for primary physicians, and cardiologists."

Jane-Alexandra Krehbiel, nurse, blogger and author "Rational Preparedness: A Primer to Preparedness"


"Steve Ryan's summaries of the Boston A-Fib Symposium are terrific. Steve has the ability to synthesize and communicate accurately in clear and simple terms the essence of complex subjects. This is an exceptional skill and a great service to patients with atrial fibrillation."

Dr. Jeremy Ruskin of Mass. General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

"I love your [A-fib.com] website, Patti and Steve! An excellent resource for anybody seeking credible science on atrial fibrillation plus compelling real-life stories from others living with A-Fib. Congratulations…"

Carolyn Thomas, blogger and heart attack survivor; MyHeartSisters.org

"Steve, your website was so helpful. Thank you! After two ablations I am now A-fib free. You are a great help to a lot of people, keep up the good work."

Terry Traver, former A-Fib patient

"If you want to do some research on AF go to A-Fib.com by Steve Ryan, this site was a big help to me, and helped me be free of AF."

Roy Salmon Patient, A-Fib Free; pacemakerclub.com, Sept. 2013

A-Fib Patient story #24

“Pill-In-the-Pocket” Worked—But Turns to 3rd Catheter Ablation for a Cure

By Leon, 2008

I have had a fair amount of experience with A-Fib, starting in 1989. I am an Australian; I will give you a brief run down on my pill-in-the-pocket experience.

I am at this time A-Fib free, having had 3 PVI operations. The first two were disasters. Fortunately I found a very experienced and capable guy in Sydney; and it appears at this time, 4 months later, that all is going well. I am A-Fib free and medication free which is wonderful.

First, I am not in a position to tell you how you should be treated. I can only give you my personal experiences. After having A-Fib for some time it became more frequent, and I was getting desperate to find some kind of assistance to help me get over it. Normally I would go into A-Fib for between 12 to 40 hours, unless I was hospitalized, which I hated. Then it usually turned into 4 days in hospital under observation.

Thyroid Damage From Meds Caught in Time

Meds can be very dangerous. At one point, mine was causing thyroid damage. Fortunately we found out in time, and it wasn’t beyond treatment and cure. Many can be. You must have regular blood tests yourself.

Anyway a year or so ago I was in Germany and had an A-Fib episode. I was referred to a Cardiac Specialist there. He informed me about the pill-in-the-pocket treatment. I was at the time taking “Atenolol”, having being placed on that because the “Amiodarone” I was taking created thyroid problems.

German Specialist Suggests Flecainde (Pill-in-the-Pocket)

The Specialist in Germany suggested that when I have an A-Fib episode, I should take three 100 mg of flecainide (pill-in-the-pocket) spread over 60 minutes (20 minute intervals). I continued with my Atenolol; but the next time I had an A-Fib episode, I did as he advised. Within 2 hours I had recovered. It felt like a miracle, as I had been used to the recovery times I mentioned above. And with my heart recovering so quickly, the rest of my body recovered quickly as well, almost as if nothing had happened. So, in my own case, I couldn’t have been happier with the “Pill-in-the-Pocket.”

However, every person can respond differently to drugs. So you have to feel your way with such a treatment. For those with heart disease, I understand flecainide is not recommended. But fortunately I have no heart disease.

On returning to Australia, I found no one here (that I could locate) using the “Pill-in-the-Pocket” treatment. Fortunately my GP said he was prepared to prescribe it for me as I already had had the experience of using it.

Wanted a Cure—Not a Treatment

Still I was after a cure and not a treatment. So, I researched Cardiologists in Australia and found, as I mentioned, the best guy in Australia in Sydney and went for my third operation.

I didn’t try to get by just by using the “Pill-in-the-Pocket” treatment prior to my operation, as my A-Fib was too frequent. I needed some kind of constant medication along with the “Pill-in-the-Pocket” treatment to get me by.

I have tried to be brief; however, if you have any specific questions, I am only to happy to answer what I can from my own experience.

Kind regards
Leon, E-mail: sandman_oz(at)yahoo.com

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