In every issue of WebMD the Magazine, we ask our experts to answer readers' questions about a wide range of topics. In our September 2011 issue, we gave a reader's question about preventing heart disease to James Beckerman, MD, WebMD's heart health expert.
Q : Heart disease runs in my family. What can I really do now to help prevent it?
A : Cut out these five things to greatly reduce your risk:
Smoking (or hanging around with smokers). Smoking is the most dangerous -- yet most reversible...
Digoxin is usually taken once a day, especially in the elderly and those with kidney problems. 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 check 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 watched.
Digoxin may cause drowsiness. Do not drive a car or use 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:
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
These side effects could mean that your dose needs to be changed. Once you and your doctor have found the correct dose, you usually will not have side effects if you take digoxin exactly as prescribed.