Important Information for Your Healthcare ProviderTalk with your healthcare provider prior to taking digoxin if you have:
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- Heart problems, such as:
- Any abnormal heart rhythm (heart arrhythmia)
- Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (a rare heart condition)
- A recent heart attack
- Inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis)
- Constrictive pericarditis (a long-term inflammation of the sac-like covering around the heart)
- Restrictive cardiomyopathy (a disorder in which the heart chambers cannot fill properly because the heart is too stiff)
- A history of electrolyte or vitamin problems, such as low or high blood potassium, calcium, magnesium, or thiamine levels
- Thyroid problems (hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism)
- Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see Digoxin and Pregnancy)
- Breastfeeding (see Digoxin and Breastfeeding).
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Digoxin Precautions and Warnings to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)
How Does Digoxin Work?Digoxin works by blocking sodium-potassium ATPase, an enzyme in the body that controls the amount of sodium and potassium that enters the cells. Blocking sodium-potassium ATPase leads to an increase in 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.