Digoxin - Uses - Dosages - Side Effects - Precautions

Digoxin: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What Is Digoxin?

Digoxin belongs to a family of drugs known as cardiac glycosides. It operates by influencing certain minerals such as sodium and potassium within the cardiac cells. It relieves strain on the heart and aids in the maintenance of a regular, steady, and robust pulse. Digoxin is used to treat heart failure, generally in combination with other medicines. It is also used to treat a particular form of irregular heartbeat.

What Are The Uses Of Digoxin?

Digoxin is a medication that is used in the treatment of heart failure and irregular cardiac rhythms (arrhythmias). It improves the function of the heart and aids in the regulation of your heart rate. Digoxin is also used to alleviate heart pain (angina) and may be prescribed following a heart attack. It can also aid in the management of heart failure symptoms along with other medication. Consult your doctor before consuming the medicine.

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What Are The Side Effects Of Digoxin?

Some of the common side effects of Digoxin include nausea, diarrhea, feeling weak or disoriented, headache, weakness, anxiety, depression, or rash. However, if you see any of the following symptoms of a Digoxin allergy, get emergency medical attention: hives, breathing trouble, swelling of the cheeks, tongue, lips, or throat. If you experience a rapid, slow, or irregular heart rate; bloody or black, tarry stools; disorientation, weakness, hallucinations, strange thoughts or behavior; breast enlargement or soreness; hazy or yellowed eyesight, call your doctor at once.


Frequently Asked Questions about Digoxin

1. Does Digoxin Lower Heart Rate?

Cardiac glycosides, such as Digoxin, have been used for ages to treat heart disease patients, including those with atrial fibrillation. Digoxin's principal function is to lower your heart rate and increase blood filling in your ventricles (two of the heart's chambers). It lowers heart rate by boosting the vagus nerve activity, which causes a reduction in heart rate.

2. What Does Digoxin Do To The Heart?

Digoxin improves the efficiency of damaged or weaker heart pumps. It increases the force of cardiac muscle contractions, aids in the restoration of a normal, stable heart rhythm, and promotes blood circulation. Digoxin is one of the numerous medicines used to treat heart failure symptoms. If you have atrial fibrillation, it may also be prescribed (a common irregular heart rhythm).

3. Does Digoxin Lower BP?

Digoxin reduces diastolic blood pressure significantly during overnight sleep in patients with congestive heart failure. This effect is likely to be caused by a reduction of fight/flight response or increasing restoration of the calm state. Digoxin levels might be increased in your body if you take it with certain blood pressure medicines. If you must take these medications in addition to Digoxin, please consult with your doctor.

4. What Is Digoxin Toxicity?

Digoxin toxicity occurs when you have an overdose of Digoxin which is used to treat cardiac problems. Signs of Digoxin toxicity include vomiting, nausea, and an irregular heartbeat. Digoxin toxicity can also occur if you are under long-term therapy. Some other side effects include anorexia and neurological symptoms. It may also lead to a fatal arrhythmia.

5. Does Digoxin Cause Hypokalemia?

Digoxin does not directly cause hypokalemia. But hypokalemia triggers Digoxin toxicity in hypokalemia, which could also occur because of diuretic therapy. Dosage errors are also a reason for toxicity. In cases of hypokalemia which is the name for low potassium levels, Digoxin toxicity makes it worse.

6. When Should Digoxin Levels Be Checked?

Usually, the levels are checked 10 days after therapy is initiated or any dosage adjustment is made. The main reason you should check the Digoxin levels is that the safety range of the drug is narrow. In case the level of the drug in the blood is too high, toxicity may occur.

7. Is Digoxin A Blood Thinner?

Digoxin is not a blood thinner. However, it is a cardiac glycoside that is used to treat an irregular heartbeat. While doing so, the risk for blood clots decreases, thereby reducing your risk for a stroke or heart attack. Digoxin works by impacting the sodium and potassium inside the cells of the heart.

8. What Does Digoxin Do To Potassium?

Digoxin is a cardiac glycoside. It impairs the transport of potassium from the blood into cells. Therapy with Digoxin typically does not lead to an increase in the amount of potassium in the blood also known as hyperkalemia. However, an overdose of Digoxin may cause hyperkalemia which could turn fatal.

9. What Class Of Drug Is Digoxin?

Digoxin belongs to the class of drugs called cardiac glycosides. It is derived from the leaves of the digitalis plant. The drug is used in the treatment of heart failure, it makes the heartbeat stronger and with a more regular rhythm. Digoxin is also used in the treatment of atrial fibrillation.

10. What Food Should Be Avoided When Taking Digoxin?

When on Digoxin therapy, your doctor might advise you to consume a low-sodium diet. Avoid eating bananas when on Digoxin because bananas are a rich source of potassium, and excess potassium can lead to heart failure. Foods rich in fiber reduce the absorption of Digoxin from the digestive tract. So you can take the drug an hour before or 2 hours after a fiber-rich meal. Black licorice must be avoided in the diet as it can result in irregular heartbeat and heart attack.



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      Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.