What they do

The most commonly used digitalis preparation is digoxin.

Digoxin may mildly strengthen your heart and reduce your heart rate slightly. It may also decrease oedema (swelling caused by the build up of fluid). It is especially useful in people with irregular heart rhythms, notably atrial fibrillation with a rapid heart rate.

Side effects

It is important that you are given the right dose of digoxin - your doctor or nurse will do regular blood tests to check this. If you are given too much digoxin you may lose your appetite or develop nausea (feeling sick), headache or blurred / coloured vision.

Occasionally, high levels of digoxin can cause abnormal heart rhythms which could make you experience palpitations or black outs - if you have either of these symptoms you should see your doctor.

Top tips

If you have a lower than average potassium level (this can happen for example if you have insulin-dependent diabetes, or are taking diuretics) you could be more likely to have high levels of digoxin. You should therefore make sure you can recognise the early signs of too much digoxin, such as nausea, loss of appetite or an extremely slow heart beat. You should see your doctor if you develop any of these symptoms.

Before having any kind of surgery, including dental or emergency treatment, you should tell your doctor, dentist or surgeon that you are taking digoxin.

Also known as:

  • Digoxin
    (Lanoxin®, Lanoxin-PG®)
  • Digitoxin
    (Digitrin®, Coramedan®, Digimed®, Digimerck®, Digitaline®, Digitaline Nativelle®, Digitalin®, Digitossina®, Digitoxin®, Digitoxin Didier®, Digitoxin-Philo®, Digitrin®, Digophton®, Ditaven®)

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