Typical Brand Name(s): Digitek, Lanoxicaps,
What Is It
DIGOXIN (Lanoxin, Lanoxicaps) is a cardiac glycoside that
can help a weakened heart to function properly. Digoxin increases
the strength of the heart muscle, helps to maintain a normal heart
rhythm, and helps to remove excess water from the body. Digoxin
can relieve symptoms of congestive heart failure, a condition that
reduces the ability of the heart to pump enough blood through the
body. These symptoms include swelling of the feet and legs, difficulty
breathing, and extreme tiredness or weakness. It can also help to
regulate heart rhythm problems. Generic digoxin tablets are available,
but not generic digoxin capsules.
How Is It Used?
Take digoxin tablets or capsules by mouth. Follow
the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the tablets or
capsules with a drink of water. It is best to take digoxin on an
empty stomach, at least 1 hour before, or 2 hours after meals. Take
your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more
often than directed.
Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding
the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
Do not administer adult preparations to children.
Elderly patients over 65 years old may have a stronger reaction
to this medicine and may need smaller doses.
What should my health care
professional know before I receive digoxin?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- Heart Disease
- Heart rhythm disorders such as slow heart rate
or heart block, sick sinus syndrome, ventricular arrhythmias,
Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, or Adams-Stokes syndrome
- Kidney Disease
- Liver disease
- Lung disease
- Over- or under-active Thyroid
- Recent Heart Attack
- Too much Calcium, Potassium, or Magnesium in the
- An unusual or allergic reaction to digoxin, other
medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
What side effects may I
notice from taking digoxin?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health
care professional as soon as possible:
- Anxiousness or Nervousness
- Changes in Color Vision (more yellow color), blurred vision,
eyes sensitive to light, light flashes, or halos around bright
- Changes in behavior, mood, or mental ability
- Chest pain or palpitations
- Diarrhea, or Constipation
- Dizziness or Drowsiness
- Fainting Spells
- Fast Heartbeat (more likely in children)
- Irregular, Slow Heartbeat (less than 50 beats per minute)
- Loss of Appetite
- Nausea, Vomiting
- Skin Rash or Itching
- Stomach Pain
- Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
- Unusual bruising, or pinpoint red spots on the skin
- Weakness or tiredness
Side effects that usually do not require medical
attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional
if they continue or are bothersome):
- Breast Enlargement in Men and Women
- Sexual Problems such as Impotence
What About Interactions
With Other Drugs?
- Agents used to treat cancer
- Alprazolam, diazepam
- Amphotericin B
- Barbiturate medicines for inducing sleep or treating
- Beta blockers, often used for high blood pressure
or heart problems
- Calcium, magnesium, or potassium salts
- Certain medicines used to decrease cholesterol
(cholestyramine, colestipol, atorvastatin, fluvastatin, simvastatin)
- Clarithromycin or erythromycin
- Diet Pills (stimulants) or drugs used to control
- Herbal products such as flaxseed, ginger, ginseng,
hawthorn, St. John's wort
- Hormones such as prednisone or cortisone
- Medicine for colds and breathing difficulties
- Medicines to control heart rhythm (dofetilide,
amiodarone, sotalol, and others)
- Sodium polystyrene sulfonate
- St. John's wort
- Tetracycline antibiotics (doxycycline, tetracycline)
- Thyroid hormones
- Water Pills (diuretics)
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about
all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines,
nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber
or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks
with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs.
These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health
care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What should I watch for while
Visit your prescriber or health care professional for regular checks
on your progress. Do not stop taking your digoxin without your prescriber's
advice, even if you feel better. Do not change the brand you are
taking, other brands may affect you differently.
Check your heart rate (pulse) and blood pressure regularly while
you are taking digoxin. Ask your prescriber or health care professional
what your heart rate and blood pressure should be, and when you
should contact him or her. Your prescriber or health care professional
also may schedule regular blood tests and electrocardiograms to
check your progress.
Digoxin tablets are easily confused with other look-alike tablets.
This can have serious consequences. If you take other tablets that
look similar, ask your pharmacist how to avoid mix-ups.
Watch your diet. Less digoxin may be absorbed from the stomach if
you have a diet high in bran fiber.
If you are going to have surgery, tell your prescriber or health
care professional that you are taking digoxin.
Do not take antacids, or treat yourself with non-prescription medicines
for pain, allergies, coughs or colds, without advice from your prescriber
or health care professional. You will be able to take some of these
medicines if you space doses several hours apart.
What If I Miss A Dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can
(if you only take one dose a day, not more than 12 hours since your
dose was due). If it is almost time for your next dose, take only
that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
How Should It Be Stored?
Keep out of the reach of children in a container
that small children cannot open.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 25 degrees
C (59 and 77 degrees F). Protect from light. Throw away any unused
medicine after the expiration date.
NOTE: The above information
is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and
judgment of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional.
It should not be construed to indicate that the use of the product
is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare
professional before taking the product.