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Digoxin helps slow the heart rate by blocking the number of electrical impulses that pass through the AV node into the lower heart chambers (ventricles).
Digoxin can also strengthen ventricular contractions so that the heart is able to pump more blood with each beat.
Digoxin slows heart rate and strengthens heart contractions in people who have atrial fibrillation. Digoxin can also be used to treat heart failure, so it is useful for treating people with both atrial fibrillation and heart failure.
Digoxin may be used along with other medicines to treat atrial fibrillation. Digoxin alone may not adequately control heart rate in people with active lifestyles.
Digoxin may improve symptoms of atrial fibrillation by:
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you have:
Overdose of digoxin (also called digoxin poisoning) can happen if you have too much digoxin in your blood.
Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms of an overdose:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
You may have regular tests to check the level of digoxin in your blood. Your doctor will make sure you are taking a safe amount of digoxin.
Tell your doctor all of the medicines, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. Other medicines can change the amount of digoxin in your blood so that you have too much digoxin. Too much digoxin causes serious symptoms of an overdose, also known as digoxin poisoning.
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant, do not use any medicines unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines can harm your baby. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. And make sure that all your doctors know that you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.