Digoxin is used in the management abnormal heart rhythm and treatment of heart failure.
Digoxin may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Take Digoxin exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
You may take this medicine with or without food. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Digoxin must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking it even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have any of the following heart conditions:
- hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (abnormally thick heart muscle)
- ventricular fibrillation (heart rhythm problem)
- serious problems with the conduction of the electrical impulses in the heart, especially if you have a history of Stokes-Adams attacks (abrupt, short-lived loss of consciousness caused by sudden change in heart rate or rhythm)
- irregular heartbeat caused by cardiac glycoside intoxication or conditions such as Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (a condition where there is an extra electrical pathway between your heart's upper and lower chambers causing a rapid heartbeat)
as Digoxin may not be suitable for you.
Inform your doctor if you have any of the following conditions:
- recent heart attack
- inflammation of the heart muscle
- advanced heart failure
- low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood
- high levels of calcium in the blood
- deficiency of oxygen supply in the body
- beri-beri (thiamine deficiency)
- kidney disease
- lung disease
- thyroid disease
- digestive problems or other bowel problems
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Digoxin to a child or elderly. Children or elderly people may be more sensitive to the side effects.
If you will undergo cardioversion (medical procedure of restoring a normal heart rhythm) or any operation, including minor operations and dental work, always inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking Digoxin.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your heart condition (e.g. heart rate, heart rhythm) and check your response to the medication regularly. Your doctor may also need to perform routine blood tests (e.g. digoxin, potassium, magnesium, calcium levels in your blood). Your doctor will advise you on how often you need to have these tests.
Digoxin may cause some problems with your eyesight (e.g. blurred or yellow vision). If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to see clearly.
Other side effects include any of the following: irregular heartbeat, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, weakness, and skin rash.
Some side effects may be serious, although they are not common. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience:
- chest pain
- difficulty breathing
- profuse sweating with an abnormally fast or irregular heartbeat
- confusion, anxiety, depression, hallucination (seeing or hearing things that are non-existent)
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- antibiotics e.g. erythromycin, tetracyclines
- medicines for heart disease e.g. amiodarone, verapamil, diltiazem
- medicines for water retention or “water pills” e.g. hydrochlorothiazide, spironolactone
- medicines for asthma e.g. salbutamol
- medicines for mood disorders e.g. nefazodone, alprazolam
- medicines for thyroid disease e.g. carbimazole
- medicines for high cholesterol e.g. atorvastatin, colestyramine, colestipol
- medicines for organ transplant e.g. ciclosporin
- medicines for cancer e.g. lapatinib
- medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizure) e.g. phenytoin
- medicines for pain relief e.g. diclofenac, ibuprofen, indomethacin
- medicines for muscle relaxation e.g. succinylcholine
- medicines for stomach problems e.g. diphenoxylate, metoclopramide
- medicines for fungal infections e.g. itraconazole
- medicines for viral infections e.g. ritonavir, telaprevir
- medicines for TB e.g. rifampicin
Digoxin should not be taken with antacids as antacids could reduce the effectiveness of this medicine. If you must take antacids, take between meals at least 2 hours after you have taken this medicine.
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Digoxin.
Always inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Do not take Digoxin together with foods rich in fibre such as bran. These foods may decrease the absorption of Digoxin.
Your doctor may give you potassium supplements while you are being treated with this medicine. Alternatively, he may tell you to eat more of foods that are high in potassium, such as orange juice, bananas or prunes.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Protect from light.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.