Question: What is the connection between how strong my heart function is and my ability to tolerate medicines?
Answer :Many patients that need heart rhythm medicines have structural heart disease. That is they've something wrong with their heart.
They may have a weakening of their heart from a heart attack, which is a death of the heart muscle. They may have a weakening of the heart muscle contracting from what we call cardiomyopathy, which can occur from a virus which basically weakens the heart muscle.
This can also occur if you have abnormal valve abnormalities, either a leaky valve or a tight valve that makes the heart work too hard. Or sometimes with high blood pressure when you have high blood pressure the heart thickens, it exercises and can weaken if the blood pressure is not controlled.
Almost all heart rhythm medicines can have what we call a negative inotropic effect -- that's just a fancy doctor word for makes the heart not squeeze as strong as it should.
Usually these effects are minimal but there are certain drugs, again, based on if you have an abnormal heart or not that your doctor may or may not use.
If your heart is otherwise healthy and you have an abnormal heart rhythm than obviously this concern is minimal. If you have a damaged heart there may be certain drugs that would not be safe to use and your doctor would not recommend these to you.