• Pacemakers

    Posted by Timmy on July 9, 2024 at 6:23 am

    Is it common or more uncommon for ALS paitents to require a pacemaker?

    I have always had a slow heart rate, 52 wasn’t uncommon 20 years ago, 40’s common 10 years ago and now it dips often into the middle 30’s (35-37) as I approach my 70th birthday. I have been seen by a heart Doctor. I have had a 7 day monitor with results that were no concern to him. Angiogram completed and results were fine. Shoot even while in recovery my heart rate diped to 35 and all they did was silence the alarm. This all happened just over a year ago.

    I’m not very fond of getting any type of surgery and really don’t think I need a pacemaker. Maybe more in denial than I think. I need some input from everyone please.

    Chris King replied 5 days, 20 hours ago 4 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • len-jax

    July 9, 2024 at 4:23 pm

    Hi Timmy,

    Do you take the medication Trazadone? I am in my 70s and have a slow heart rate, 40 – 50. Many years ago, I was prescribed Trazadone as a treatment for depression along with another drug. I was on a regular dose originally, but it was increased. About a month later, my heart rate went down to 32, and I was hospitalized overnight. The doctors didn’t have a clue what the cause was. I finally asked if it could be the Trazadone. The doctor researched and found it to be a rare side effect that is not often seen. They discontinued it, and my heart rate returned to my 40+ range.

    Yours is a very slow heart rate. Do you have any other effects from the slow rate? If your doctor was not concerned about it, who was recommending a pacemaker?


    • Timmy

      July 10, 2024 at 8:40 am

      Thank you for your answer. I do no take that. It’s my primary Dr has been concerned. My heart Dr. said everything was good (1 to 1-1/2 year ago) just had a slow heart rate. I live in Arizona in the winter (180 feet in elevation) and in the summer, New Mexico (7600 feet in elevation).

      I do get light headed when I stand up sometimes. I just stand up slowly and wait until it passes (few seconds). I have never passed out or fallen because of it.

      I am waiting to hear from my ALS Dr.

  • bill-osullivan

    July 11, 2024 at 2:37 pm

    Not sure if my experience helps or not. I have had a several pacemakers over the past 20 years due to low heart rate. The implant is quick and outpatient surgery home same day. I immediately felt much better with paced heartbeat with more energy and no unexpected lightheaded from activity such as sitting or standing up too fast. I have had ALS more than 3 years and every bit of energy help is welcome. My current pacer battery is approaching its end of life and will be having a new implant. I can’t imagine going back to the unpaced roller coaster.

  • Chris King

    July 11, 2024 at 3:03 pm

    I’ve had a pacemaker since December due to irregular heartbeat and afib 34-170, needless to say it needed to be regulated. Meds didn’t work so pacemaker inserted which works regarding the afib keeps heart rate between 60-80 most of the time but the side effects from the insertion are ongoing which cardiologist don’t seem to be able to figure out or relate to ALS resulting in possible reposition or move to right side neither of which appeals to me. I’d definitely gather all information available and if feeling generally the same as always probably pass for now. I’m 79 female diagnosed 2020, first symptoms 2016 as possible TIA due to bulbar onset and speech affected immediately plus weakness on left side.

    Good luck and thanks for inquiring,

    Chris King

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