Digoxin for Heart Failure
Digoxin is most often taken once a day as a pill, but it can also be injected into a vein if you are in the hospital.
How It Works
Digoxin slows and strengthens heart contractions, enabling the heart to pump more blood with each beat.
Why It Is Used
Digoxin is used for people who have symptoms of heart failure caused by left ventricular systolic dysfunction while they are receiving standard therapy (angiotensin-converting enzyme [ACE] inhibitors, beta-blockers, and diuretics).
Doctors also use digoxin to treat atrial fibrillation, an irregular, erratic heart rhythm that starts in the upper heart chambers (atria).
How Well It Works
Digoxin may help reduce symptoms and associated hospitalization but has not been proven to reduce the chance of death from heart failure.1
Side effects of digoxin include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
When you start taking digoxin, you initially may need to have frequent blood tests to monitor the level of the medicine. These tests may be done less frequently after you have been taking digoxin for some time.
Lower doses of digoxin are used in people with kidney problems.
Other medicines may affect the level of digoxin in the blood.
Digoxin is not used for people with diastolic heart failure.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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