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Digoxin

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

By mouth

Digoxin is used to treat congestive heart failure, usually in combination with a diuretic (water pill) and an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor… Read more

Brand names include: Digitaline Nativelle, Digitek

By injection

Digoxin injection is given in combination with a diuretic (water pill) and an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor to treat heart failure in… Read more

Brand names include: Digoxin Novaplus, Lanoxin

Drug classes About this
Antiarrhythmic, Cardiovascular Agent

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Digoxin for preventing or treating neonatal respiratory distress syndrome

There is no evidence that the administration of digoxin helps babies with neonatal respiratory distress syndrome.

Pharmacotherapy of heart failure with normal ejection fraction (HFNEF): a systematic review

AIM: The pharmacotherapy for heart failure with normal ejection fraction (HFNEF) is not as well defined as that for the treatment for heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFREF). Studies of the various drugs given for HFNEF have revealed conflicting results. The aim of this systematic review was to determine whether there is any benefit with pharmacotherapy in HFNEF in terms of cardiac outcomes.

Chronic atrial fibrillation: a systematic review of medical heart rate control management

The authors concluded that available limited data supported use of digoxin in combination with a β-blocker or rate-limiting calcium antagonist as a first-line treatment for chronic atrial fibrillation. The lack of numerical and statistical data and the unjustified exclusion of studies rated as poor quality made it difficult to determine the reliability of this conclusion.

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Summaries for consumers

Digoxin for preventing or treating neonatal respiratory distress syndrome

There is no evidence that the administration of digoxin helps babies with neonatal respiratory distress syndrome.

Antidotes for acute cardenolide (cardiac glycoside) poisoning

Cardenolides are naturally occurring plant toxins which act primarily on the heart. While poisoning with the digitalis cardenolides (digoxin and digitoxin) are reported worldwide, cardiotoxicity from other cardenolides such as the yellow oleander are also a major problem, with tens of thousands of cases of poisoning each year in South Asia. Because cardenolides from these plants are structurally similar, acute poisonings are managed using similar treatments. The benefit of these treatments is of interest, particularly in the context of cost since most poisonings occur in developing countries where resources are very limited. The objectives of this review are to determine the efficacy of antidotes for the treatment of acute cardenolide poisoning, in particular atropine, isoprenaline (isoproterenol), multiple‐dose activated charcoal (MDAC), fructose‐1,6‐diphosphate, sodium bicarbonate, magnesium, phenytoin and antidigoxin Fab antitoxin.

Intervention is favored in the prevention of post‐operative atrial fibrillation after heart surgery

Atrial fibrillation after heart surgery is a common complication that has been associated with poor outcomes. We reviewed the literature to better understand the role of preventative interventions for this condition. By combining the results of 118 studies with 17,364 participants, we are able to gain a better understanding of the evidence behind each of these interventions. All of the interventions studied were effective in reducing the occurrence of atrial fibrillation, length of hospital stay, cost of hospital treatment and may be effective in reducing the risk of stroke. The interventions did not have an effect on death after heart surgery. It was not possible to analyze the adverse events associated with the medications studied in this review, but these should be considered by clinicians when choosing an appropriate intervention for their patients. Furthermore, differences in the design between the studies combined in this review may complicate interpretation of these results.

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