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.
Drink Some Wine
Wait, isn't wine a known PVC Trigger? Yes, alcohol is a very well known heart rhythm modifier. In my personal experience if I drink too much alcohol (roughly 3 servings in one night) then the next day I have terrible premature beats. However, if I'm having a bad night of PVC's and I just can't get them to stop, 1 or 2 glasses of red wine seems to almost always do the trick.
Seriously, talk to your doctor first!
I think that wine works so well because it calms me down, and I suspect that my PVC's are very related to stress. It's a fine line to walk, though. Just enough wine to take the edge off, but not so much that tomorrow night is PVC HELL again. I've found that 1 or 2 glasses is about right, and 3 is too much. You'll have to do your own experimenting. This is, or course, a very risky cure because addiciton is such a strong possibility. All I can say is use this option wisely, and seek professional help.
Also known by the generic name Alprazolam, Xanax is drug used to treat panic disorder and help deal with anxiety. I've read numerous accounts of it being used to treat accute bouts of PVC's, so I asked my doctor for a prescription. It has been effective as a localized treatment when I'm having a bad night. At first I tried 0.25 milligrams, but it wasn't enough so now I use 0.50 milligrams and it really helps make the PVC's go away.
Again, like wine this is an addictive drug so using it as a cure should be considered dangerous and a last ditch effort to feel better. I usually only use Xanax when my PVC's are really bad. The last thing I want is to get addictied to benzodiazepines. I don't have to tell you to talk to your doctor first because Xanax is prescription only, but still, talk to your doctor first!
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.