Your healthcare provider will prescribe a dosage of digoxin based on the condition being treated and other medications you are taking, among other factors. This medication comes in tablet, oral liquid, and injectable forms. The tablets and liquid are typically taken once a day, and take one to three weeks to become fully effective. The digoxin injection is used when a quicker response is necessary.
An Introduction to Your Dosage of DigoxinThe dose of digoxin (Lanoxin®) your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
- The condition being treated
- Your weight
- Your age
- Other medications you are taking
- Other medical conditions you may have.
As is always the case, do not adjust your dosage unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.
Digoxin Dosing for Heart Failure In AdultsThe recommended starting dosage for treating congestive heart failure is normally 0.25 mg (250 mcg) of digoxin once daily. The recommended starting dosage in people over 70 years of age, or those with kidney disease, is 0.125 mg (125 mcg) once daily. People with severe kidney disease will usually be started on digoxin 0.0625 mg (62.5 mcg) a day.
Your healthcare provider may adjust your dosage (no more often than every two weeks) based on how you respond to the medication and your digoxin blood level. Blood levels between 0.5 and 2 ng per mL are considered normal therapeutic levels.
However, based on the results from clinical studies, the target digoxin blood level for effectively treating heart failure is between 0.5 and 1 ng per mL. Most people will likely be maintained on a dosage between 0.125 mg and 0.25 mg to achieve this level. Digoxin toxicity is likely to occur if levels exceed 2 ng per mL.
It normally takes one to three weeks after you start digoxin treatment for an adequate amount of the drug to accumulate in your body. In some cases, your healthcare provider may decide that a more rapid response to the medication is needed. In these cases, you may be given a loading dose of digoxin, which means you will be given a higher initial dosage.
A digoxin injection is often used to achieve a rapid response. The total loading dosage is usually given in several smaller doses, six to eight hours apart. You will be switched over to an oral form of digoxin (tablets or elixir) for your normal maintenance treatment. A trained healthcare provider, such as a nurse, will usually administer digoxin injections.