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Digoxin

Digoxin is used to treat heart conditions such as atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter and heart failure.

Last Modified: 20 May 2024

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Overview

What is Digoxin? 

Digoxin is a cardiac glycoside derived from the leaves of a digitalis plant, used to improve heart strength and efficiency. It contains a steroid nucleus with an unsaturated lactone ring and sugar attachments. 

Global Name

Generic Names: Digoxin

Global Brand Names: Lanoxin, Digitek, and Lanoxicaps

Usage

What is Digoxin used for? 

Digoxin is used to treat heart conditions such as atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter and heart failure. 

How do you use Digoxin? 

Availability:

Digoxin is available in tablet, capsule, and injectable forms.

Dosage information: 

  • Adults: 0.125 to 0.25 mg once daily. 
  • Children: Dosing is based on weight; consult a pediatrician. 

Suitability: 

  • Children: Yes, with adjusted dosing. 
  • Adults: Yes, as prescribed. 
  • Elderlies: Yes, but with caution due to sensitivity. 
  • Pregnancy: Only if necessary (FDA Category C). Please consult your medical provider to weigh benefits vs. risks to mother and fetus. 
  • Lactation: Digoxin can be excreted in small amounts in mother’s milk. Please consult your medical provider to weigh benefits vs. risks to the nursing infant. 
  • Allergies: If allergic to digoxin or other cardiac glycosides. 
  • Certain conditions: Uncontrolled ventricular arrhythmias/ventricular fibrillation, AV block, myocarditis, and acute myocardial infarction (heart attack)  

Warnings: 
Take with or without food consistently. Monitor therapeutic drug levels. 

Interactions: 
Avoid antacids within 2 hours of taking digoxin. Many drug interactions exist as digoxin has a very narrow therapeutic index/ratio i.e. unwanted side effects can be expected even at low doses (low safety profile); consult a healthcare provider. 

Side Effects

Common side effects include nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. Serious side effects can include arrhythmias or vision changes.

Pharmacist Tips

  • Storage: Keep Digoxin at room temperature, away from light and moisture. 
  • Consistency: Take it at the same time daily, with or without food as directed. 
  • Missed Dose: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible, but never double up. 
  • Monitoring: Have regular blood tests to check digoxin levels and kidney function. 
  • Side Effects: Watch for signs of toxicity like nausea or irregular heartbeats and report them. 
  • Avoid Sudden Stops: Consult your doctor before stopping Digoxin to prevent condition worsening. 

Availability

Where is Digoxin available in Hong Kong?

 Digoxin is a prescription medication that can be prescribed by healthcare providers.

FAQs

Is Digoxin available over-the-counter?

No, it requires a prescription.

How long does it take for Digoxin to work?

Effects can be seen in hours, but full benefits may take weeks.

Can you suddenly stop taking Digoxin?

No, stopping suddenly can worsen your condition. Consult a doctor before any changes.

What is an early sign of Digoxin toxicity?

An early sign of digoxin toxicity is often gastrointestinal distress, such as nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain. Other early signs can include fatigue, weakness, and visual disturbances like seeing halos around lights. 

Disclaimer
This website provides content related to drug use and medicine for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not use the information on this website to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare provider. The website's owners and contributors are not liable for any repercussions, adverse effects, or consequences resulting from the use of any medication or information provided herein.

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