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Heart Disease and Treatment With Digoxin

If you have heart disease, Digoxin is a medication that helps an injured or weakened heart work more efficiently to send blood through the body. It strengthens the force of the heart muscle's contractions, slows the heart rate, and improves blood circulation.

Two common brands of digoxin are Lanoxin and Lanoxicaps. A variety called digitoxin is sold under the brand name Crystodigin.

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Why Do I Need to Take Digoxin?

Digoxin is prescribed to treat:

 

How Should I Take Digoxin?

Digoxin is usually taken once a day, especially in the elderly and those with kidney dysfunction. Try to take this medication at the same time every day. Follow the label directions on how often to take it. The time allowed between doses and how long you need to take it will depend on your condition. You may have to take this medication for many years, possibly for the rest of your life.

While taking this medication, your doctor may tell you to take and record your pulse daily. He or she will tell you how rapid your pulse should be. If your pulse is slower than recommended, contact your doctor about taking digoxin that day.

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory so your response to the drug can be monitored.

Digoxin may cause drowsiness. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medicine affects you.

 

What Are the Side Effects of Digoxin?

If you have any of the following side effects from digoxin, contact your doctor right away:

  • Loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting
  • Changes in vision, such as flashes or flickering of light, sensitivity to light, seeing things larger or smaller than they are, blurring, color changes (especially a yellow or green tint to your vision), and seeing halos or borders on objects
  • Drowsiness, headache, confusion, depression, fatigue, and muscle weaknes
  • Irregular heartbeat or slow heart rate

These side effects could mean that your dose needs to be changed. Once you and your doctor have determined the correct dose, you usually will not experience side effects if you take digoxin exactly as prescribed.

 

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