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Re: Atenolol and arrhythmias

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  • Jennifer Lundgren
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    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 26, 2004
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      >>Marjorie,
      >>
      >> Atenolol is the most common first line drug for HCM in
      >>kitties. It has a very good record of reducing arrhythmias, which
      >>are a common complication of HCM. Many of the kitties on this site
      >>are on atenolol, and it has a very good safety record in cats.
      >>Ventricular arrhythmias, extra beats are called PVC's or premature
      >>ventricular complexes, can be dangerous because if they land on a
      >>certain part of the heart's contraction cycle, they can start a
      >>lethal rhythm called ventricular fibrillation, which is immediately
      >>lethal unless converted with electrical shock (clear!). PVC's are
      >>considered pathological if they are multiform (come from different
      >>areas of the ventricles), there are more than 6 minute, they occur
      >>close to the QRS (where the normal heart contraction is occuring) or
      >>they are occuring in multiple runs (two - four PVC's back to back).
      >>Susan explained the action of atenolol quite well, it basically
      >>suppresses the irritable part of the heart so that the extra beats
      >>don't occur. Given the possible serious consequences of those extra
      >>beats, the atenolol is a good idea, very safe and has very few side
      >>effects. I understand that you will want to discuss this with your
      >>regular vet, but you could use the atenolol for the short term if
      >>s/he will be gone for more than a few weeks and have her opinion on
      >>it when s/he returns. Atenolol has a very short half life, it is
      >>eliminated from the body within 48 hours, so a washout is not
      >>difficult.
      >>Good luck and keep us updated!
      >>
      >>jen, deagan and kira the dog
      >>
      >>PS and OT (I passed my level III exam yesterday - I'm now a fully
      >>certified advanced life support paramedic! I'm just so excited I
      >>have to tell everybody, it has been over a year of training!
      >>
      >>
      >

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