PRESCRIBED FOR: Digoxin is used for treating adults with mild to moderate congestive heart failure and for treating an atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heart rhythm. It is also used for increasing myocardial contractility in pediatric patients with heart failure.
SIDE EFFECTS: Common side effects include:
Many digoxin side effects are dose dependent and happen when blood levels are over the narrow therapeutic range. Therefore, digoxin side effects can be avoided by keeping blood levels within the therapeutic level. Serious side effects associated with digoxin include:
- heart block,
- rapid heartbeat, and
- slow heart rate.
Digoxin has also been associated with visual disturbance (blurred or yellow vision), abdominal pain, and breast enlargement. Patients with low blood potassium levels can develop digoxin toxicity even when digoxin levels are not considered elevated. Similarly, high calcium and low magnesium blood levels can increase digoxin toxicity and produce serious disturbances in heart rhythm.
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 0.0625, 0.125, 0.1875, and 0.25 mg; Elixir: 0.05. Injectable Solution: 0.1 and 0.25 mg/ml.
STORAGE: Digoxin should be stored at room temperature, 15 C and 30 C) (59 F and 86 F) and protected from light.
DOSING: Digoxin may be taken with or without food. Digoxin is primarily eliminated by the kidneys; therefore, the dose of digoxin should be reduced in patients with kidney dysfunction. Digoxin blood levels are used for adjusting doses in order to avoid toxicity. The usual starting dose is 0.0625-0.25 mg daily depending on age and kidney function. The dose may be increased every two weeks to achieve the desired response. The usual maintenance dose is 0.125 to 0.5 mg per day.
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