Digoxin (Lanoxin®) is a drug prescribed for the treatment of congestive heart failure (CHF) and atrial fibrillation. It is approved for use in adults, children, and infants. This medicine is available as a tablet, an oral liquid (elixir), and an injection.
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 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 the drug is generally well tolerated, it is not suitable for everyone. Before taking digoxin, make sure your healthcare provider has up-to-date information on your medical history and a list of your current medications. In particular, make sure to let your healthcare provider know if you have kidney disease, an electrolyte imbalance, or any allergies.
(Click Digoxin for more information on using this medication. Topics discussed in this article include dosing guidelines, potential side effects, and safety issues to be aware of while taking it.)
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed February 18, 2011.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed February 18, 2011.
Digoxin. Drug Facts and Comparisons. Drug Facts and Comparisons 4.0 [online]. 2011. Available from Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Accessed February 18, 2011.
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