Digoxin (By mouth)
Treats certain heart rhythm problems (atrial fibrillation). Also used to treat heart failure, usually in combination with a diuretic (water pill) and an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor. This medicine is also called digitalis.
Digitek, Lanoxin, Lanoxicaps
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to digoxin or other forms of digitalis or if you have ventricular fibrillation.
How to Use This Medicine
Capsule, Liquid, Tablet
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- It is best to take this medicine on an empty stomach.If the medicine upsets your stomach, you may take it with food or milk.
- Measure the oral liquid medicine with the marked measuring dropper that comes with the package or with an oral syringe. Do not use teaspoons or tablespoons that are used for serving and eating food. These will not measure the correct amount.
- To keep your heart working properly, take this medicine exactly as directed even though you may feel well. Do not take more of this medicine than your doctor ordered and do not miss any doses. Take the medicine at the same time each day. This medicine works best when there is a constant amount in the blood.
If a dose is missed:
- If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it has been more than 12 hours from your last dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take 2 doses at the same time.
- If you miss your doses for 2 days or longer, call your doctor.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you also use St John's wort, activated charcoal, albuterol (Ventolin®), alprazolam (Xanax®), cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®), diclofenac (Voltaren®), diphenoxylate, epoprostenol (Flolan®), indomethacin (Indocin®), kaolin-pectin (kaopectate), methylphenidate (Ritalin®), metoclopramide (Reglan®), nicotine gum, propantheline (Pro-Banthine®), sucralfate (Carafate®), or sulfasalazine (Azulfidine®). Tell your doctor if you also use diuretics or water pills (such as bumetanide, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, spironolactone, Aldactazide®, Aldactone®, Bumex®, Dyazide®, Lasix®, Maxzide®, Midamor®, or Moduretic®), heart or blood pressure medicine (such as atenolol, captopril, carvedilol, diltiazem, metoprolol, nifedipine, nitrendipine, telmisartan, verapamil, Adalat®, Cardizem®, Lotrel®, Plendil®, Procardia®, Tiazac®, or Toprol®), certain medicines to treat heart rhythm problems (such as amiodarone, dofetilide, moricizine, propafenone, quinidine, sotalol, Betapace®, Cardioquin®, Cordarone®, Ethmozine®, Quinaglute®, Rythmol®, or Tikosyn®), medicines to treat infection (such as azithromycin, clarithromycin, erythromycin, itraconazole, ketoconazole, neomycin, rifampin, tetracycline, Ery-Tab®, Mycifradin®, Rifadin®, Rimactane®, Sporanox®, or Zithromax®), a steroid medicine (such as dexamethasone, Medrol®), or cancer medicines.
- Tell your doctor if you also use calcium supplements, dopamine (Intropin®), epinephrine (Adrenalin®), norepinephrine (Levophed®), ranolazine (Ranexa®), ritonavir (Norvir®), succinylcholine (Anectine®), teriparatide (Forteo®), thyroid supplements (such as levothyroxine, Synthroid®), certain medicines to treat diabetes (such as acarbose, exenatide, metformin, miglitol, Byetta®, Glucophage®, Glyset®, or Precose®), medicine to lower cholesterol (such as cholestyramine, colestipol, Colestid®, or Questran®), or medicine to treat stomach ulcers (such as esomeprazole, lansoprazole, omeprazole, rabeprazole, Aciphex®, Nexium®, or Prilosec®).
- You should not use antacids (such as Maalox® or Mylanta®) at the same time you take digoxin.
- Tell your doctor if you eat meals that are high in bran, such as cereals or muffins.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or if you have kidney disease, heart or blood vessel problems, breathing problems (such as hypoxia), mineral imbalances (such as high or low calcium, or low potassium or magnesium in the blood), or thyroid problems. Tell your doctor if you are on dialysis, have had a recent heart attack, or if you have recently been vomiting or had diarrhea.
- Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
- Watch for signs and symptoms of overdose while you are taking this medicine. Follow your doctor's directions carefully. 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 confusion, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or vision problems. Other signs of overdose are an uneven, pounding, or slow heartbeat or fainting. In babies and small children, the earliest signs of overdose are heartbeat changes, weight loss, stomach pain, or unusual behavior.
- Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Changes in vision
- Confusion, tiredness or weakness, trouble breathing, numbness or tingling in hands, feet, or lips
- Fast, slow, or uneven heartbeat
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite
- Unusual behavior, stomach pain, or weight loss (in children)
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013