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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)

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