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By Medicover Hospitals / 27 Feb 2021
Home | Medicine | Digoxin

What is Digoxin?

  • Digoxin, sold under the brand name Lanoxin, is a medicine used to treat various heart conditions. It is commonly used for atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, and heart failure. Digoxin is taken by mouth or by injection in a vein.
    1. Digoxin Uses
    2. Digoxin Side effects
    3. Precautions
    4. Interactions
    5. Dosage
    6. Storage
    7. Digoxin vs Metoprolol
    8. Frequently Asked Questions
    9. Citations

    Digoxin Uses:

  • Digoxin is used to treat heart failure, usually with other medications. It is also used to treat some types of irregular heartbeat (such as chronic atrial fibrillation). Treatment of heart failure may help maintain your ability to walk and exercise and may improve the strength of your heart. Treatment of irregular heartbeat can also improve your ability to exercise. Digoxin belongs to a class of medications that is called cardiac glycosides. It works by affecting certain minerals (sodium and potassium) in the heart cells. This reduces the strain on the heart and helps to maintain a normal, steady, and strong heartbeat.
  • How to use Digoxin?

  • Take this medicine orally with or without food, usually once a day or as directed by your doctor. If you are using the liquid form of this medicine, carefully measure the dose using the dropper provided by the manufacturer. Never use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dosage.
  • This medicine may not be absorbed by your body if you also eat foods high in fiber or if you take certain medications. Therefore, take this medicine at least 2 hours before or after eating foods high in fiber (such as bran). If you are also taking cholestyramine, colestipol, or psyllium, wait at least 2 hours after taking your digoxin dose before taking any of these products.
  • If you are taking antacids, kaolin-pectin, magnesia milk, metoclopramide, sulfasalazine, or aminosalicylic acid, take them as far away as possible from your digoxin dose. Ask your pharmacist if you're not sure when to take any of your medications.
  • The dosage of this medicine is based on your medical condition, age, body weight, laboratory tests, and response to treatment.
  • Use this medicine regularly according to the prescription schedule to make the most of it. Use it at the same time every day to help you remember. Do not stop taking this medicine without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may worsen when the drug is suddenly stopped.
  • Digoxin Side effects:

    • Dizziness
    • Mental disturbances
    • Diarrhea
    • Headache
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Redness of skin
    • Bumpy rash
    • Loss of appetite
    • Irregular heartbeat
    • Arrhythmia in children (consider toxicity)
    • Visual disturbance
    • Yellow vision
    • Heart block
    • Cardiac arrest rhythm (asystole)
    • Fast heart rate


  • Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to digoxin; or similar drugs (such as digitoxin); or if you have any certain allergies before taking digoxin. This drug might cause allergic reactions or other issues. Please talk to your pharmacist for more details.
  • Inform your pharmacist about your medical history before using this medicine, especially: kidney problems, thyroid problems (underactive or overactive).
  • This medicine will make you dizzy or blur your vision. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) could make you dizzy. Do not try driving, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness or clear vision until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic consumption.
  • The balance of certain natural minerals in your blood (calcium, magnesium, potassium) may affect how this drug works in your body. Certain drugs, such as water pills (diuretics), can affect the normal balance of these minerals. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking a water pill or if you have a history of mineral imbalance. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you should take a dietary supplement or follow a special diet.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medicine before having surgery or certain procedures on your heart (such as electrical cardioversion).
  • Infants and children may be more sensitive to the effects of this drug, particularly the effects on the heartbeat.
  • This medicine should only be used during pregnancy when it is urgently needed and advised by your doctor. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks.
  • Digoxin is transferred to breast milk. While no reports of harm to nursing infants have been reported, consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
  • Interactions

  • Drug interactions might change the way your medications work or increase your risk of more serious effects. Do not stop, start or change the dosage of any medicine without your doctor's supervision.
  • Some products have additives that could make your heart failure worse. Inform your pharmacist what medicinal drugs you are using and ask how to use them safely (especially cough and cold products, dietary aids, or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or naproxen).
  • Note

  • Do not share this medicine with others. Laboratory and medical tests (such as digoxin levels, blood mineral levels, kidney function tests, electrocardiograms) should be performed while you are taking this medicine. Keep all medical and laboratory appointments in place. For more details, consult your doctor. Check your blood pressure and pulse (heart rate) regularly while taking this medicine. Learn how to check your blood pressure and pulse at home and share the results with your doctor.


    Missed Dose:

  • If you forget a dose, take it as soon as it is possible if it is within 12 hours of the scheduled dose. If it is more than 12 hours after the scheduled dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose on a regular basis. Don't double your dose to catch up. If you miss more than 2 doses in a row, ask your doctor or pharmacist for a new dosing schedule immediately.
  • Overdose:

  • If someone has overdosed and has serious side effects, such as passing out or having trouble breathing, call a poison control center right away.
  • Storage:

  • Keep protected from sunlight and humidity. Don't store in the washroom. Keep every medicine away from pets and children.
  • Do not flush or pour medicinal products into the toilet unless instructed. Discard this product properly when it expires or is no longer required. Consult your local waste disposal company or your pharmacist.
  • Digoxin vs Metoprolol

    sold under the brand name Lanoxin brand name Lopressor
    Formula: C41H64O14 Formula: C15H25NO3
    Digoxin is used to treat heart failure, usually with other medications. It is also used to treat some types of irregular heartbeat such as chronic atrial fibrillation It is used to treat high blood pressure, chest pain due to poor blood flow to the heart, and a number of abnormally fast heart conditions.
    Digoxin is a cardiac glycoside metoprolol is a beta-blocker
    Digoxin can be taken with or without food. Metoprolol should be taken before eating meals or at bedtime.

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Digoxin is a type of medicine called cardiac glycosides. It is used to control some heart problems, such as irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias) including atrial fibrillation. It can also help manage symptoms of heart failure, usually with other medicines. Digoxin is available on prescription only.
    Digoxin belongs to a class of drugs called digitalis glycosides. It is used to improve the strength and efficacy of the heart or to control the rate and rhythm of the heartbeat.
    Digoxin increases the strength of the heart muscle contraction by inhibiting the activity of the enzyme (ATPase) which controls the movement of calcium, sodium, and potassium into the heart muscle. Calcium controls the contraction force.
    Following are the most common first sign of digoxin toxicity
    • -Confusion
    • -Irregular pulse
    • -Loss of appetite
    • -Nausea
    • -Vomiting
    • -diarrhea.
    • -Fast beat of the heart.
    For people with ventricular fibrillation: Digoxin cannot be used if you have ventricular fibrillation. It might make your ventricular fibrillation worse. In people with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome: If you have Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, you are at higher risk of abnormal heart rhythm.
    Elderly people are at an increased risk of digoxin toxicity. Low doses of digoxin appear to be effective in treating heart failure due to systolic dysfunction and may reduce the incidence of digital toxicity in these patients.
    Because digoxin does not affect blood pressure, it is sometimes used on its own in a person with atrial fibrillation who has naturally low blood pressure. Sometimes there is no other effective rate-control treatment that does not lower blood pressure as well.
    Digoxin Lanoxin, Digoxin is usually taken in the morning. Your doctor will sometimes ask you to take some blood tests. If you start to get sick (vomiting), develop diarrhea, blurred/yellow vision, or become dizzy, you should contact your doctor immediately for advice.
    Toxic effects of digoxin include life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias, particularly ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation, severe bradycardia (low heart rate), heart block, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, and neurological problems, including confusion and visual disturbances.
    In this subset of the DIG trial, digoxin was associated with a long-term improvement in renal function and a reduction in death or hospitalization in patients showing this favorable renal response. Additional research is needed to confirm this finding-generating hypothesis.


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