Commonly used brand name(s):
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Cardiovascular Agent
Pharmacologic Class: Cardiac Glycoside
Chemical Class: Digitalis Glycoside
Digoxin is used in combination with a diuretic ("water pill") and an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor to treat congestive heart failure and a heart rhythm problem called atrial fibrillation.
Digoxin belongs to the class of medicines called digitalis glycosides. It is used to improve the strength and efficiency of the heart, or to control the rate and rhythm of the heartbeat. This leads to better blood circulation and reduced swelling of the hands and ankles in patients with heart problems.
digoxin is available only with your doctor's prescription.
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For digoxin, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to digoxin or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of digoxin in children. However, infants are more likely to be very sensitive to the effects of digoxin which may require an individual dose for infants receiving digoxin.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of digoxin in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney or heart problems which may require an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving digoxin.
|All Trimesters||C||Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.|
Studies in women suggest that this medication poses minimal risk to the infant when used during breastfeeding.
Using digoxin with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Using digoxin with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of digoxin. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
To keep your heart working properly, take digoxin exactly as directed even though you may feel well. Do not take more of it than your doctor ordered and do not miss any doses. Take the medicine at the same time each day. digoxin works best when there is a constant amount in the blood.
When you are taking digoxin, it is very important that you get the exact amount of medicine that you need. The dose of digoxin will be different for different patients. Your doctor will determine the proper dose of digoxin for you. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label.
Measure the oral solution correctly using the marked measuring dropper or Patients cups™ that comes with the package. Rinse the dosing dropper or cup with water after each use.
Your doctor may want you to check your pulse before you take each dose of digoxin. A nurse or other caregiver can teach you how to check your pulse. Your doctor will tell you how fast your pulse should be (for adults, the usual range is 60 to 100 heartbeats per minute). If your pulse is too high or too low, call your doctor before you take the medicine.
The dose of digoxin will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of digoxin. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
If you miss a dose of digoxin, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
If you miss a dose of digoxin, and you remember it within 12 hours, take it as soon as you remember. However, if you do not remember until later, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. If you have any questions about this or if you miss doses for 2 or more days in a row, check with your doctor.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
It is very important that your doctor check your progress closely while you are using digoxin to see if it is working properly and to allow for a change in the dose. Blood tests may be needed to check for any unwanted effects.
Do not stop taking digoxin without first checking with your doctor. Stopping suddenly may cause a serious change in heart function.
Watch for signs and symptoms of overdose while you are taking digoxin. Follow your doctor's directions carefully. The amount of digoxin needed to help most people is very close to the amount that could cause serious problems from overdose. Some early warning signs of overdose are loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or problems in seeing. Other signs of overdose are changes in the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat (becoming irregular or slow), palpitations (feeling of pounding in the chest), or fainting. In infants and small children, the earliest signs of overdose are changes in the rate and rhythm of the heartbeat. Children may not show the other symptoms as soon as adults.
Your doctor may want you to carry a medical identification card or bracelet stating that you are receiving digoxin.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Before having any tests, tell your doctor that you are using digoxin. digoxin may affect the results of certain medical tests.
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:More common
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:Less common
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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