Digoxin belongs to a group of medicines called cardiac glycosides or digitalis glycosides. Digitalis medications, such as digoxin, are extracted from the digitalis plant, a plant more commonly known as foxglove.
This medication is available as a tablet, an injection, and an elixir (a liquid form taken by mouth). It works by blocking a certain enzyme in the body called sodium-potassium ATPase. 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.
(Click Digoxin for more detailed information, including who can take it, potential side effects, and more. This article also discusses why this drug may not be suitable for some people.)
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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