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Dr. Douglas L. Packer, MD, FHRS, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

"Jill and I put you and your work in our prayers every night. What you do to help people through this [A-Fib] process is really incredible."

Jill and Steve Douglas, East Troy, WI 

“I really appreciate all the information on your website as it allows me to be a better informed patient and to know what questions to ask my EP. 

Faye Spencer, Boise, ID, April 2017

“I think your site has helped a lot of patients.”

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Baltimore, MD


Doctors & patients are saying about 'Beat Your A-Fib'...


"If I had [your book] 10 years ago, it would have saved me 8 years of hell.”

Roy Salmon, Patient, A-Fib Free,
Adelaide, Australia

"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

"...masterful. You managed to combine an encyclopedic compilation of information with the simplicity of presentation that enhances the delivery of the information to the reader. This is not an easy thing to do, but you have been very, very successful at it."

Ira David Levin, heart patient, 
Rome, Italy

"Within the pages of Beat Your A-Fib, Dr. Steve Ryan, PhD, provides a comprehensive guide for persons seeking to find a cure for their Atrial Fibrillation."

Walter Kerwin, MD, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA


Steve’s Mailbox: Harlan Shares How He Gets Out of A-Fib Within 15 minutes

Harlan Alpern, M.D., Cooperstown, New York, wrote me about his unusual A-Fib trigger and a way he successfully controls his A-Fib attacks:

“I am a 72-year-old retired physician who developed atrial fib (lone and paroxysmal) at age 61. My initial trigger was a strong emotional stress event.

Although I have the common triggers for A-Fib including alcohol, coffee, and lying on my left side, the principal trigger for me for A-Fib is emotional stress (and negative emotions especially since I have given up alcohol and caffeine.). This can come from something as simple as watching an emotional or scary movie or television show. I had such an episode this evening which prompted my email to you.”

An Unusual A-Fib Episode Treatment

Xanax, generic name: alprazolam

Dr. Alpern went on to describe an A-Fib episode treatment that works quickly for him. Maybe it will work for you, too.

“I have found a therapy that gets me out of A-Fib within 15 minutes. I take a 1 mg tablet of Xanax and lie on my back in the dark. I occasionally check my heart with my stethoscope. Within 15 minutes I am back into sinus rhythm.

My current cardiologist told me he was not aware of Xanax being a therapy to affect cardio version from A-Fib into sinus rhythm, however my internist kindly provides me a prescription for the Xanax. (I have a New York state medical license but dropped my DEA license after I retired in 2007 so that I cannot order it for myself.)”

I read Dr. Alpern’s email with interest and wrote back to him:

Thank you for sharing what gets you out of an A-Fib attack. I have one similar story about Xanax (a minor tranquilizer). An A-Fib.com reader, Sally, wrote me that her A-Fib comes on at night and is very severe, preventing her from sleeping. “I get up and take Xanax 0.5 mg, and within 15 minutes or so, the A-Fib stops. And I can go to sleep.”

Conquering Your A-Fib Episodes

Share what’s working-email me.

Xanax and Beta-Blockers: Xanax (alprazolam), though primarily used for the treatment of anxiety disorders, appears to have beta-blocker properties. Beta-blockers are typically prescribed to treat high blood pressure and heart problems, and they are prescribed off-label for anxiety. Xanax is a different kind of drug, a benzodiazepine, that is a type of tranquilizer.

But be advised it’s recommended to not take Xanax on a regular basis for more than 2-3 weeks because of the danger of addiction.

Using Xanax for Your A-Fib? Anyone else using Xanax to help with their A-Fib attacks? To tell me about it, just email me.

Scary Movie A-Fib Trigger: I have never heard of a simple emotional stress such as a scary movie triggering an A-Fib episode. Does anyone else have a similar trigger? Email me and share your experience.

Always aim for a cure! As we continue our correspondence, I’ll encourage Dr. Alpern to seek his A-Fib cure.

Eleven years of living in A-Fib is a long time. I’ll urge him to talk with his electrophysiologist about a catheter ablation. (I had mine 20 years ago and am still A-Fib free. I’m age 77 and very active.)

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