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Digoxin is a type of medicine called a cardiac glycoside. It affects certain minerals inside heart cells that lessen the strain on the heart. As a result, it helps maintain a strong, steady, and normal heartbeat. 

What condition does Digoxin treat?

Digoxin is an FDA-approved medication used for the treatment of heart failure. This medicine is usually used in combination with other medications for heart failure. Treating heart failure may help maintain your ability to walk and exercise. It may also improve the strength of your heart.

This prescription can also be used for the treatment of certain types of irregular heartbeat such as chronic atrial fibrillation. Treating an irregular heartbeat can lessen the risk of blood clots. It is an effect that may reduce your risk for a heart attack or stroke. 

How does Digoxin work?

Digoxin is a form of digitalis which is a drug extracted from the foxglove plant. It works directly on the heart muscle.          It raises the force with which the heart muscle contracts with each heartbeat and decelerates the rate at which the heart beats. This medication makes each heartbeat more capable of pumping blood around the body. 

What is the dosage of Digoxin?

Digoxin is available in the dosage form of 0.25 mg for oral use. The recommended dosage to take for this medication depends on your medical condition and response to the drug. Usually, this medication is taken once a day. Each dose is taken with or without food.

Even though you may feel well take this medication exactly as directed to keep your heart working properly. Do not take more of it than your doctor has prescribed and do not miss any doses. Take the medicine at the same time each day. This medicine works best when there is a constant amount in the blood. If you miss a dose of this prescription and you recall it within 12 hours, take it as soon as you remember. Conversely, if you do not recall until later, never mind the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule of dosing. If you miss doses for 2 or more days in a row or if you have any questions about this, contact your doctor.

When you are taking this medication, you must get the particular amount of medicine that you need. The dose of Digoxin will be different for different individuals. Your doctor will determine the correct dose of this medication for you. Follow carefully the directions on the label given by your doctor. 

What are the precautions in using Digoxin?

  • Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are allergic to it or if you have any allergies.
  • Let your doctor know if you are a pregnant or breastfeeding woman.
  • Infants and children may be more sensitive to the effects of this medication, especially the effects on the heartbeat.
  • This medicine may make you drowsy or dizzy. You should not drive or do any activity that needs your alertness.
  • While taking this medication, limit alcoholic beverages.
  • If you have preserved left ventricular systolic function, you should not use this drug. It may increase your risk of side effects such as shortness of breath or chest pain.
  • If you will be receiving electrical cardioversion, your dose may be decreased or 1 to 2 days before your procedure your treatment with this prescription may be stopped. This is done to prevent heart rhythm problems.
  • Digoxin is not recommended for use in people having a heart attack. Using this medicine can restrict blood flow to the heart.
  • This should not be used if you have myocarditis. It may narrow your blood vessels and may also cause inflammation.
  • Digoxin is cleared from your body by your kidneys. If your kidneys don’t function properly, the medicine may build up to risky levels. Your dosage must be lessened if you have kidney problems.
  • Digoxin is not recommended for use if you have ventricular fibrillation. It may make your ventricular fibrillation worse.

Cost of Digoxin vs. Lanoxin

The generic Digoxin is an inexpensive heart medication that only costs $0.28 per unit of 0.25 mg and $13.99 for 50 tabs. The brand name Lanoxin costs $15.13 per unit of 0.25 mg and $756.5 for 50 tabs.