Instructions for use of this drug describes it as a complex organic compound, which is made from a medicinal plant called the woolly Foxglove.
Positive inotropic effect is the main feature of this medication. Providing a heart tonic selective effect, Digoxin increases contraction of the heart muscle (myocardium). Under the influence of the drug, myocardium begins to receive more oxygen. The result of the contractile activity of the heart muscle increases and heart rate slows down. If heart failure is accompanied by congestion, this remedy acts as a vasodilator. In addition, this drug has a mild diuretic effect, reducing swelling.
Primarily the indication for the use of Digoxin is congestive heart failure, including congestive phenomena. Also the drug is used in various manifestations of tachyarrhythmias – paroxysmal tachycardia, atrial fibrillation, atrial fibrillation.
Pharmaceutical companies produce this cardiac glycoside in the form of tablets. You should pay particular attention to the fact that the required dosage and duration course of treatment should be determined only by the cardiologist on the basis of the diagnosis and with the obligatory account of individual peculiarities of the patient. The fact is that tablets of Digoxin contain carefully measured quantity of the medicine. The drug may be administered for rapid saturation of myocardium medicine, and small maintenance dose for a more prolonged course of treatment. In particular in case of short-term appointment, it is not recommended to take the drug more than 3 days in a row. So self-medicating is extremely dangerous. There were times when overdose or incorrectly calculated dose caused cardiac arrest.
Contraindications of the drug include acute form of rheumatic heart disease, myocardial infarction, bradycardia, unstable angina, presence of heart blockages, cardiac glycoside intoxication.
In addition to contraindications, drug may cause side effects. Sometimes there are changes (jumps) of a heart rhythm that is usually observed with an overdose of medication. It may cause loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. It happens that patients complain of fatigue, apathy, flies flashing eyes, a violation of light perception (staining of visible objects in the yellow-green or blue). From the hematopoietic system it may cause thrombocytopenia. Allergic rashes are too typical phenomenon when taking this remedy.
Patient should always be cautious while taking the drug. The instruction notes that patients should follow all instructions of the attending doctor: take the medicine just at the appointed time and don’t change the dose, stop taking the medication when the heart rate is less than 60 beats per minute.
Despite the vegetable origin, doctors try to use Digoxin for the treatment of patients mainly in hospitals. During the treatment process you should regularly monitor serum electrolyte balance (potassium and magnesium), electrocardiography.