Digoxin (Intramuscular route, intravenous route)
Uses of This Medicine:
Digoxin injection is given in combination with a diuretic (water pill) and an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor to treat heart failure in adults and children. It is also used to treat adults with atrial fibrillation (a heart rhythm problem).
Digoxin belongs to the class of medicines called cardiac glycosides. It is used to improve the strength and efficiency of the heart, or to control the rate and rhythm of the heartbeat. This leads to better blood circulation and reduced swelling of the hands and ankles in patients with heart problems.
This medicine is to be given only by or under the direct supervision of a doctor.
Before Using This Medicine:
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of digoxin injection to treat atrial fibrillation in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of digoxin injection in children with heart failure. However, infants are more likely to be very sensitive to the effects of digoxin injection which may require an individual dose for infants receiving digoxin injection.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of digoxin injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney or heart problems which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving digoxin injection.
Studies in women suggest that this medication poses minimal risk to the infant when used during breastfeeding.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems—
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Proper Use of This Medicine:
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine in a hospital. This medicine is usually given as a shot into a muscle or into a vein.
Your doctor may give you a few doses of this medicine until your condition improves, and then you may be switched to an oral medicine that works the same way. If you have any concerns about this, talk to your doctor.
Precautions While Using This Medicine:
It is very important that your doctor check your progress closely while you are receiving this medicine to see if it is working properly and to allow for a change in the dose. Blood tests may be needed to check for any unwanted effects. Your doctor may also want you to monitor and record your blood pressure and heart rate daily.
Watch for signs and symptoms of overdose while you are receiving this medicine. The amount of this medicine needed to help most people is very close to the amount that could cause serious problems from overdose. Some early warning signs of overdose are loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or problems in seeing. Other signs of overdose are changes in the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat (becoming irregular or slow), palpitations (feeling of pounding in the chest), or fainting. In infants and small children, the earliest signs of overdose are changes in the rate and rhythm of the heartbeat. Children may not show the other symptoms as soon as adults.
Your doctor may want you to carry a medical identification card or bracelet stating that you are receiving this medicine.
Before having any tests, tell your doctor that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal (eg, St. John's wort) or vitamin supplements.
Side Effects of This Medicine:
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Last Updated: 4/4/2014
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