Digoxin is a cardiac glycoside manufactured using extracts of the digitalis plant that is used to treat heart failure and certain irregular heart beat conditions such as atrial fibrillation. It aims at regulating the concentrations of Sodium and Potassium ions within the heart muscle which reduces heart strain allowing the heart to maintain a strong and steady heartbeat.
The use of Digoxin for the above mentioned cardiac conditions helps reduce risks of blood clots in the heart as well as strokes and heart attacks.
This medication should be taken orally in either solid or liquid form. The dosage and frequency of taking this drug will be recommended to you according to your age, physical attributes and the seriousness of your condition. It is important to use a proper medical tool such as a dropper when taking it in liquid form to ensure that you take the right dosage.
It is important to avoid eating food containing a high percentage of fibres just before or immediately after taking Digoxin. The fibres can reduce the rate of absorption of the drug which would make it less effective. Certain other drugs also influence the rate of absorption of Digoxin and therefore, should be taken at least a couple of hours after or before taking it. Following are few drugs including antacids that you should be aware of.
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It is important that you consult your doctor before starting on this medication. Pregnant women should only use this drug if there is no other alternative method to treat their conditions. Digoxin is known to be passed on to breast milk, even though there has been no indication of it harming the health of infants. The use of this medication on young children with heart beat irregularities should be done with high levels of precaution.
Allergies and medical history will also affect how this drug affects your system. If you are allergic to a similar drug such as Digitoxin, you should talk to your doctor before starting on Digoxin. Individuals with thyroid or kidney issues or with a history of it should take special care when using the medication. Those using water pills and any other special medication or diet that influences the mineral levels in the body will need to inform their doctor about it prior to taking the medication.
It is advisable to carry out a trial period for using the drug to ensure that you don’t have any allergies or negative reactions to it. Blurred vision and dizziness can occur in some patients in which case they should avoid driving and using dangerous equipment until the negative effects seize to exist. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea can also occur in certain patients.
Rashes, itchiness, swelling of tongue and face, difficulty to breathe, mood swings, weakness, changed vision and the enlargement of breasts in men are all very rare yet possible side effects of Digoxin. It is critical that you inform your doctor immediately after noticing any of the above mentioned symptoms.