Saturday, February 9, 2013

A case of physician negligence?

Following is an email I received recently. My comments are in blue. Identity of the person who wrote to me is confidential.

Noel Griese
Dear Mr. Griese:

I am fifty eight years old. I've had bouts of Atrial Fibrillation and had been taking Flecainide for years. In July of 2012 I had a cryoablation procedure with the intent of curing my Afib problem. I had more Afibs after the procedure, at which time I was prescribed amiodarone. Amio is prescribed widely for afib.  Its my understandong that amiodarone is the "holy grail" for heart arrhythmia problems. When I had my first Afib my cardiologist treated me as if I were the president. Now I'm a pariah. I've read that some cardiologits wil no longer see a patient that wants to stop amiodarone.

Due to amiodarone I now experience an unusual medicine/metal smell which I can only describe as torture. Check with your doctor, but I suspect the smell is due to the iodine in the amio. I had similar problems with my breath when I was on amio I have to bury my face in a pillow at night to alleviate the smell. Just watching television is agonizing. My cardiologist said "in the decades I've been prescribing Amiodarone, I've never heard of this problem".  He told me to stop taking aspirn. That didn't work. It took my pharmacist to read the amiodarone insert and discover it can cause an unusual taste or smell. My cardiologist told me to stop taking it. I didnt know Amiodarone stays in your system for months. It stays for up to two years - although the aftereffects can last for the rest of your life.

I've had hearing problems, and my sight is not as good as it was. My ex wife pawned that off on getting older. I believe its due to amiodarone. I've not heard of amio affecting hearing, but it can definitely affect eyesight.

I'm very sorry to read of your problems due to amioderone. Thank you.  This smell is driving me crazy. I don't know if this will affect my lungs or not, or don't know how long the smell will last. I'm also afraid of the possibility my Afibs will return. Are you aware of a non toxic Afib drug that works? Sorry, I don't - but your doctor may. Please write or call me anytime.  Thank you And thank you for sharing.

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