Medically reviewed: August 31, 2017
What is digoxin?
Digoxin is derived from the leaves of a digitalis plant. Digoxin helps make the heart beat stronger and with a more regular rhythm.
Digoxin is used to treat heart failure.
Digoxin is also used to treat atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm disorder of the atrium (the upper chambers of the heart that allow blood to flow into the heart).
Digoxin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use digoxin if you have ventricular fibrillation (a heart rhythm disorder of the ventricles, or lower chambers of the heart that allow blood to flow out of the heart).
Before taking this medicine
You should not use digoxin if you are allergic to it, or if you have ventricular fibrillation (a heart rhythm disorder of the ventricles, or lower chambers of the heart that allow blood to flow out of the heart).
To make sure digoxin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
a serious heart condition such as "sick sinus syndrome" or "AV block" (unless you have a pacemaker);
a recent history of heart attack;
Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome (sudden fast heartbeats);
a thyroid disorder;
an electrolyte imbalance (such as low levels of calcium, potassium, or magnesium in your blood);
if you take a diuretic (water pill), or use steroid medicine.
It is not known whether digoxin will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Digoxin can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I take digoxin?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Try to take the medication at the same time every day.
Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
While using digoxin, you may need frequent blood tests. Your kidney function may also need to be checked.
Use digoxin regularly even if you feel fine or have no symptoms. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
You should not stop using digoxin suddenly. Stopping suddenly may make your condition worse.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if your next dose is less than 12 hours away. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of digoxin can be fatal.
What should I avoid while taking digoxin?
Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated during exercise, in hot weather, or by not drinking enough fluids. Digoxin overdose can occur more easily if you are dehydrated.
Digoxin side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;
fast, slow, or uneven heart rate;
bloody or black, tarry stools;
blurred vision, yellowed vision; or
confusion, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior.
Serious side effects may be more likely in older adults and those who are ill or debilitated.
Common side effects may include:
feeling weak or dizzy;
enlarged breasts in men; or
mild skin rash.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect digoxin?
Other drugs may interact with digoxin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 8.04.
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