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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
What is digoxin toxicity?
Digoxin toxicity happens when you have too much digoxin in your body and it becomes harmful. Digoxin is a medicine that is used to treat heart failure or arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms). Digoxin toxicity can be life-threatening.
What increases my risk for digoxin toxicity?
- Older age
- Certain medical conditions such as kidney disease, hypothyroidism, or heart disease
- Low blood levels of potassium or magnesium
- High blood levels of potassium or calcium
- Use of herbal supplements that contain substances similar to digoxin
- Use of medicines that interact with digoxin such as diuretics, calcium channel blockers, or other medicines that affect the way your heart beats
What are the symptoms of digoxin toxicity?
- Lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Headache, confusion, anxiety, or hallucinations
- Restlessness, weakness, or depression
- Changes in vision such as blurred vision or seeing halos around bright objects
- A fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat, or palpitations (fast, forceful heartbeats in an irregular rhythm)
How do I safely take digoxin?
- Take digoxin exactly as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you miss a dose or you have any questions about how to take digoxin.
- Do not stop taking digoxin unless your healthcare provider has told you to. You may have increased irregular heartbeats if you stop taking digoxin.
- Talk to your healthcare provider before you take any herbal supplements. Some herbal supplements contain substances that act like digoxin and can cause toxicity.
- Go to all your follow-up appointments. Your healthcare provider will need to monitor you closely while you are taking digoxin. You will need to have regular blood tests.
What else can I do to prevent digoxin toxicity?
Wear medical alert jewelry or carry a card that says you take digoxin. Ask where to get these items.
What should I do if I think I or someone I know took too much digoxin?
Call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 immediately.
When should I seek immediate care?
- You have a lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
- You have a headache, confusion, anxiety, or hallucinations.
- You feel restless, weak, or depressed.
- You have any changes in vision such as seeing halos around bright objects.
- You have difficulty breathing.
- You have a fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat, or palpitations (fast, forceful heartbeats in an irregular rhythm).
When should I contact my healthcare provider?
- You missed a dose of digoxin.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
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