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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: Tachycardia/Dyspnea/Tachypnea

 fearuvhorses - Sat Sep 20, 2003 12:53 pm

At what point is a rapid heart rate accompanied by shortness of breath and rapid respiration an immediate emergency. My usual resting heart rate is 100-110. "Walking around" heart rate is 120-130. With chest pain, heart rate is usually 120-170. I am short of breath most of the time and my respiration rate at rest is 20-25. Walking around (no exertion) respiration rate is 30-40. On last hospitalisation (pneumonia) my pulse ox. was 85-95 but ABG was 42-58 (range over 4 tests). After a weight gain of 2 1/2 pounds overnight I increased the hydrochlorathiazide and lost 8 pounds in 3 days, and significantly reduced swelling at feet and hands. Pulse is now resting at 120-130. Is this reaction to increasing hydrychlorathiazide or other that requires investigation. If I wake up with Chest Pain that responds to Nitro but increases heart rate, is this emergency, even though chest pain is gone?
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Sat Oct 11, 2003 1:43 pm

User avatar Dear Fearuvhorses,

Thank you very much for using our website.

There is no specific heart rate that is accompanied by shortness of breath perse.

You can have shortness of breath if your heart rate is too slow as well.

The normal range for heart rate is 60-90 and most would not call it tachycardia till it gets above 100.

So, definitely you have tachycardia at rest. If a patient has tachycardia at rest, it is always wise to rule out hyperactivity of the thyroid gland. Personally i think the most common reason of high heart rate at rest is being out of shape. If you get pain when you exercise and your heart rate goes up you need to be on a beta blocker and i know that in your history you were prescribed atenolol and it made you feel weak. You can take another type of medication called calcium channel blockers to slow your heart rate and they have some antianginal properties as well.

About nitro, after taking nitro, the heart rate goes reflexly as the blood pressure drops.
About hydrochlorothiazide, if you take too much and you get dehydrated from, yes it will make your heart rate go up.

Regarding your chest pains. If you get chest pains that are not relieved by 3 tabs of nitro under the tongue 5 minutes apart, you need to go to the nearest emergency room.

Once more, thank you very much for using our website and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.

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