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Generic Name: digoxin (di-JOX-in)
Brand Name: Lanoxin

Digoxin is used for:

Treating heart failure in certain patients. It is also used to slow the heart rate in patients with chronic atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heartbeat. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Digoxin is a digitalis glycoside. It works by increasing the force of contraction of the heart and slowing heart rate.

Do NOT use digoxin if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in digoxin or other digitalis medicines
  • you have recently had a heart attack
  • you have inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis) or certain types of irregular heartbeat, such as ventricular fibrillation

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using digoxin:

Some medical conditions may interact with digoxin. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have severe heart failure or a history of other heart problems (eg, inflammation, heart block, cor pulmonale, cardiomyopathy, amyloid heart disease), extra heart beats (premature ventricular contractions [PVCs]), other types of irregular heartbeat, heart problems due to low thiamine (beriberi heart disease), Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, heart blood vessel problems, or fainting due to a heart problem
  • if you have kidney, liver, or thyroid problems; or low blood oxygen levels (hypoxia)
  • if you have low blood levels of calcium, magnesium, or potassium; or high blood levels of potassium or calcium
  • if you will be having a procedure to convert an irregular heartbeat to a normal heartbeat (cardioversion)
  • if you are receiving radiation therapy

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with digoxin. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Medicines that may harm the kidney (eg, aminoglycoside antibiotics [eg, gentamicin], amphotericin B, angiotensin-converting enzyme [ACE] inhibitors [eg, captopril], angiotensin receptor blockers [eg, valsartan], cyclosporine, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs] [eg, celecoxib, ibuprofen], tacrolimus, vancomycin) because they may increase the risk of digoxin's side effects. Ask your doctor if you are unsure if any of your medicines might harm the kidney
  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines (eg, used for aches and pains; anxiety, depression, or other mental or mood problems; calcium supplement; cancer; diabetes; diarrhea; heartburn; high blood pressure, including in the lungs; high cholesterol; HIV infection; immune system suppression; infections; irregular heartbeat or other heart problems; low blood sodium levels; lung or breathing problems; osteoporosis; seizures; sleeping problems; stomach or bowel problems; thyroid problems), multivitamin products, and herbal or dietary supplements (eg, herbal teas, coenzyme Q10, garlic, ginseng, ginkgo, St. John's wort) because they may interact with digoxin. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure if any of your medicines might interact with digoxin

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if digoxin may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use digoxin:

Use digoxin as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Digoxin is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using digoxin at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use digoxin. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • Do not use digoxin if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of digoxin, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use digoxin.

Important safety information:

  • Digoxin may cause dizziness or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use digoxin with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do NOT change your dose of digoxin without checking with your doctor.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take digoxin before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • If your doctor has instructed you to check your blood pressure and heart rate regularly, be sure to do so.
  • Digoxin may interfere with certain lab tests, including an electrocardiogram (ECG) during exercise testing. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are using digoxin.
  • Certain medicines (eg, canrenone, potassium canrenoate, spironolactone) and certain herbal supplements (eg, ginseng) may interfere with some blood digoxin level tests and give incorrect readings. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know all of the medicines you are taking.
  • Lab tests, including ECG, blood electrolyte levels, kidney function, and blood digoxin levels, may be performed while you use digoxin. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use digoxin with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Use digoxin with extreme caution in NEWBORN INFANTS, especially those who are premature or immature; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Poisoning may occur in children who accidently swallow digoxin or receive too much of digoxin. In case of an overdose or accidental ingestion, call a doctor or poison control center right away.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using digoxin while you are pregnant. Digoxin is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use digoxin, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of digoxin:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; dizziness; headache; nausea.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, throat, or tongue); bloody or black, tarry stools; blurred vision, yellow-green vision, or other vision changes (eg, seeing halos); confusion; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; hallucinations; loss of appetite; mood or mental changes (eg, depression); severe or persistent diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain; stomach tenderness or swelling; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness; urgent need to have a bowel movement; vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include dizziness; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; loss of appetite; severe nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain; unusual tiredness; vision changes (eg, blurred vision, seeing halos, yellow-green vision); weight loss, drowsiness, or mental or mood problems in children.

Proper storage of digoxin:

Digoxin is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using digoxin at home, store digoxin as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep digoxin out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about digoxin, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Digoxin is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take digoxin or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about digoxin. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to digoxin. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using digoxin.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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