Digoxin, sold under the brand name Lanoxin, is a prescription drug used to treat arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and improves fatigue symptoms caused by heart failure.
Digoxin belongs to a group of drugs known as antiarrhythmics that work to prevent the loss of sodium from the heart cells.
You should not take Digoxin if you:
- You are allergic to Digoxin or any of the ingredients in the preparation
- Have an irregular heartbeat caused by ventricular fibrillation
Talk with your doctor before taking Digoxin if you have the following diseases:
- Have any kind of heart disease, including a heart attack, endocarditis (heart muscle infection), heart failure or very slow heartbeat
- Have low oxygen concentrations in the body, a condition known as hypoxia
- Have a low level of potassium or calcium in the blood, which can reduce the effect of Digoxin
- High calcium levels or low levels of magnesium in the blood
- Have Beriberi’s disease
- Thyroid gland diseases
The concentration of Digoxin in the blood can vary depending on many factors and can become dangerous if it is not kept in a certain range.
The use of digoxin by the elderly
Digoxin is considered safe for the elderly if the dose does not exceed 0.125 mg (mg) or 125 μg per day.
As we age, our kidney function changes and usually slows down, so our bodies can not get rid of certain substances, such as digoxin, as quickly as possible.
Symptoms of an overdose of Digoxin in the elderly are sometimes difficult to determine without conducting laboratory tests. Elderly people taking higher doses of Digoxin can rave and feel weak or tired.
Pregnancy and Digoxin
Digoxin should be taken by pregnant women only when the risks do not outweigh the benefits.
Talk with your doctor if you are pregnant or can become pregnant before taking this medication.
It has been found that Digoxin gets into breast milk, so talk to your doctor if you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed.
You should tell your doctor if any of the following side effects become serious or do not go away:
- Change in mood and mental activity, including depression and loss of interest in ordinary activities
- Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
- Growth or increase in mammary gland tissue in men (gynecomastia)
Serious side effects
You should call your doctor immediately if you experience the following serious side effects:
- Changes in heart rate, including irregular heartbeats
- Slow or rapid heart rate
- Eye problems
- Low amount of platelets
Digoxin interacts with many drugs. As always, share with your doctor and pharmacist all the drugs that you take.
Before taking Digoxin, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following drugs:
- Medications for irregular heartbeat, such as: Pacerone, Nexterone or Cordarone (amiodarone), Betapace or Betapace AF (sotalol), ticosin (dofildida), multiact (dronedarone), procainamide or flecainide
- Aspirin (both tablets and suppositories)
- Beta-blockers, such as Zebeta or Ziac (betaxolol), Toprol XL or Lopressor (metoprolol), Tenormin (atenolol) and bistolic (nebivolol)
- Heartburn medications such as Prilosec (omeprazole), Nexium (esomeprazole), Aciphex (rabeprazole), Protonix (pantoprazole), and Dexilant (deslansoprazole)
- Pepsid (famotidine) and Toms (calcium carbonate)
- Herbal supplement Lily of the Valley
- Macrolide antibiotics, such as Erie Tab (erythromycin) and biaxin (clarithromycin)
- Neoral, Sandimmune and Gengraf (cyclosporine)
Digoxin and alcohol
Digoxin can cause drowsiness, confusion, and balance problems; Alcohol consumption when taking Digoxin can worsen these side effects.
For best results, avoid drinking alcohol while taking Digoxin.
Digoxin and grapefruit juice
Grapefruit juice can reduce the effect of the work of digoxin.
You should avoid the use of grapefruit or its juice when taking Digoxin.
Digoxin is available in the form of tablets and injectable liquids in the muscles and veins.
Only trained medical specialists can inject into the patient.
Tablets are available in doses of 0.125 mg (mg) and 0.250 mg.
Sometimes doses can be recorded in micrograms (μg): 120 μg and 250 μg.
You should see to it that you take Digoxin at the same time every day.
Overdose of Digoxin
If you suspect an overdose, immediately contact a poison control center or an emergency room.
In certain cases of severe overdose, health professionals can give you an antidote for Digoxin.
The missed dose of digoxin
If you miss a dose of Digoxin, try to accept it as soon as you remember.
If the time is less than 12 hours before the next scheduled dose, skip it and resume the regular dosing schedule.
Do not take two doses of the medication at the same time.