Digoxin is used to treat heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias). It helps the heart work better and it helps control your heart rate.
Side Effects Of Digoxin
Digoxin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- vision changes (blurred or yellow)
- irregular heartbeat
Some side effects may be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- upset stomach
- loss of appetite
- swelling of the feet or hands
- unusual weight gain
- difficulty breathing
Warnings & Precautions
Before taking digoxin:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to digoxin, digitoxin, or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially antacids, antibiotics, calcium, corticosteroids, diuretics (‘water pills’), other medications for heart disease, thyroid medications, and vitamins.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had thyroid problems, heart arrhythmias, cancer, or kidney disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking digoxin, call your doctor.
- talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking this medication if you are 65 years of age or older. Older adults should usually receive low doses of digoxin because higher doses may cause serious side effects.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking digoxin.
- you should know that this medication may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
- remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this medication.
Digoxin comes as a tablet, capsule, or pediatric elixir (liquid) to take by mouth. Digoxin is usually taken once a day. The pediatric elixir comes with a specially marked dropper for measuring the dose. If you have difficulty, ask your pharmacist to show you how to use it. It is important that you always take the same brand of digoxin. Different brands of digoxin have different amounts of active drug and your dose would need to be changed.
Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take digoxin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Digoxin helps control your condition but will not cure it. Continue to take digoxin even if you feel well. Do not stop taking digoxin without talking to your doctor.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will need to determine your response to digoxin. You may have electrocardiograms (EKGs) and blood tests periodically, and your dose may need to be adjusted. Your doctor may ask you to check your pulse (heart rate). Ask your pharmacist or doctor to teach you how to take your pulse. If your pulse is faster or slower than it should be, call your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.