Digoxin

Where is Digoxin used?

Digoxin is used for the treatment of heart failure. Treating heart failure may help maintain your ability to walk and exercise. It may also improve the strength of your heart. This prescription may also be used to treat certain types of irregular heartbeat called chronic atrial fibrillation. Treating an irregular heartbeat can lessen the risk of blood clots. It is an effect that may reduce your risk for a heart attack or stroke.

This is a type of medicine called cardiac glycoside. It’s a form of digitalis which is a drug extracted from the foxglove plant. The term digitalis is used to designate the whole group of glycosides. The function of this medication is to slow your heart rate down and improve the filling of your ventricles with blood. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this medication in 1975.

How does Digoxin work?

Digoxin works directly on the heart muscle.   It decelerates the rate at which the heartbeats. This also upsurges the strength with which the heart muscle contracts with each heartbeat. Digoxin makes each heartbeat more efficient at pumping blood around the body.

How is Digoxin taken?

  • This medication is to be taken by mouth usually once a day.
  • You may take each dose with or without a meal.
  • Remember to take each dose at the same time each day.

The dosage is based on your medical condition, weight, age, and response. To get the most benefit from this medication, use it regularly. Do not stop taking it without consulting your doctor. Let your doctor know if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.

Your body may not absorb this medicine if you take certain medications or if you eat foods that are high in fiber. Consequently, take this medicine at least 2 hours before or after eating food products that are high in fiber. If you are also taking colestipol, cholestyramine, or psyllium, wait at least 2 hours after taking a dose of this medicine before taking any of these products. Also, if you are taking kaolin-pectin, antacids, milk of magnesia, sulfasalazine, aminosalicylic acid, or metoclopramide, take them as far apart from your dose on this medication as possible. Ask your pharmacist if you are not sure when to take any of your medications.

What are the possible side effects of Digoxin?

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Skin rash
  • Vision changes
  • Anxiety

What are the precautions in taking Digoxin?

  • Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are allergic to this medicine or if you have any allergies.
  • Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding women. This should only be used when needed.
  • Infants and children may be more sensitive to the effects of this medication, especially the effects on the heartbeat.
  • This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive or do anything that needs your alertness.
  • While taking this medication, limit alcoholic beverages.
  • Keep this away from the reach of children.