How To Cure PVCs
So you've been avoiding all of your known PVC Triggers but you're still having a terrible bout of that terrible thumping heart? Maybe we can help.
Unfortunately, in general there is no cure for PVCs. What we can do is minimize the impact that they have on our lives. These are some of the remedies that have worked for us and others. As usual, this is not intended to be medical advice. You should consult your doctor before trying any of these cures.
How Do I Make PVC's Stop?
There are a few tricks that may help make your PVC's go away. These are all things that have worked for us in the past.
I'm sure that you're tired of hearing this, but it's true. The more you focus on your irregular heart beat the worse it will be. Just ignore it. Your heart is not going to stop beating just because you are not focusing on it. In fact, the exact opposite will happen. If you can stop worrying about why your heart is not functioning the way you'd like it to, maybe your stress level will drop just enough that your heart WILL start functioning the way you'd like it to.
Either get up and walk around, or put on some headphones and listen to your favorite music. Maybe go eat something healthy like a carrot. The crunching will make it hard to focus on your heart beat. Don't eat too much, though, because if you fill your stomach you might make them worse (see our PVC Triggers page for more on that).
Lay On Your Right Side
Many people have worse premature beats or ectopics when they lay on their left side. This is most likely due to the way the heart antagonizes the vegus nerve in that position. Try laying down on your right side in a fetal position, and breath deep and slow. Take your mind off of your heart beat, even put on some headphones. For me, the worst position is sitting up, either on the couch or at the computer desk. Laying down on my right helps about 75% of the time.
If you are sitting up at the computer, go lay down. If you are sitting at the couch, go lay down. Just be sure to lay on your right side.
Treat Your Stomach Right
Believe it or not, your PVC's could triggered from your stomach. There is a very strong stomach to heart connection due to the vagus nerve. If your stomach is uncomfortable, that discomfort can trigger ectopic beats. If I drink a large glass of water I'll almost always get a bout of PVC's until my stomach goes back down to normal size.
Something else to look for is indigestion, GERD, and ulcers. All of these stomach issues can cause an irritation that travels to the heart. Try taking some Tums or Rolaids until your stomach feels better and see if your PVC's don't go away.
A word of warning about ulcers and GERD; a common treatment for these ailments is Prilosec, which can have a long term impact on your PVC's. Prilosec (omeprazole) can deplete your magnesium bringing your electrolytes out of balance making your PVC's worse. For more infor about this effect, see our PVC Triggers page.
Medicine for PVC's
The typical prescription for PVC's is flecainide. This is a very powerful antiarrhythmic drug that is generally only prescribed by a cardiologist, and not until after a variety of tests have been done. Most cardiologists will require a heart stress test, which is typically an EKG while running on a treadmill. They may require this test both before and after starting the prescription.
Long Term Cures for PVC's
For a list of lifestyle changes that might make your PVC's less check out our Long Term PVC Cures page.