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Acta Pharmacol Toxicol (Copenh). 1977 Sep;41(3):193-202.

Passage of digoxin into cerebrospinal fluid in man.


The passage of digoxin into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was studied in 8 infants on maintenance therapy with digoxin, 11 adult patients on long-term digoxin therapy, and 15 patients, previously non-digitalized, who were given 0.5 mg digoxin orally 1 hr to 12 hrs prior to lumbar puncture. Digoxin in the serum and CSF was determined by radioimmunoassay. In the infants a mean serum concentration of 1.5 ng/ml (range 0.7-2.3 ng/ml) was found, and a simultaneous mean CSF concentration of 0.5 ng/ml (range 0.3-1.1 ng/ml). In the adults on long-term therapy, the corresponding figures were 1.1 ng/ml (range 0.5-2.2 ng/ml) and 0.3 ng/ml (range 0-0.6 ng/ml). Among the 15 patients given a single oral dose of digoxin, detectable CSF concentrations (0.2-0.3 ng/ml) were found in five, 1-12 hrs after the administration of the drug. In three paediatric patients with hydrocephalus (3 months-5 years) digoxin therapy was started as an attempt to decrease CSF production. In these patients, the production of CSF was reduced by 17, 25 and 30%, respectively.

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