If you have congestive heart failure (CHF) or atrial fibrillation, you may benefit from digoxin (Lanoxin®). This heart medication works by blocking sodium-potassium ATPase, an enzyme in the body that controls the amount of sodium and potassium that enters the cells.
Blocking this enzyme increases the amount of calcium and potassium inside heart cells. This helps the heart contract more forcefully with each heartbeat, making it more efficient at pumping blood throughout the body. It also slows down the rate at which the heart beats.
Although most people tolerate this drug well, there are potential side effects with digoxin. Some of the common reactions include dizziness, headaches, and nausea. Most of these problems are easy to treat; however, contact your healthcare provider immediately if you develop more serious complications, such as blurred vision, confusion, or vomiting.
(To learn more about this drug's effects, click Digoxin. This article takes a closer look at how digoxin works, discusses general safety precautions to be aware of, and offers tips for taking the drug.)