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What is this medication?

Antiarrhythmic Agent

Brand Name US: Lanoxin
Canadian Equivalent: Toloxin

Indicated for treatment of atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter, heart failure with a reduced ejection fraction.

How does this medication work? 

LANOXIN/TOLOXIN (Digoxin) increases the contractility of the heart muscle by inhibiting the sodium/potassium ATPase pump resulting in calcium influx via the sodium-calcium exchange pump leading to increased contractility. Digoxin directly suppresses the AV node conduction and enhances the overall vagal tone resulting in a lower ventricular rate.

How should I take this medication? 

Oral: Take 0.125 to 0.25 mg once daily based on a normal CrCl and achieving a target digoxin concentration of 0.7 mg/mL.

Note: When changing from oral (tablets or liquid) to IV therapy, dosage may be reduced by 20% to 25%. Periodically monitor digoxin concentrations as appropriate for the condition being treated, especially if renal impairment occurs. Toxicity may occur even at therapeutic concentrations in some settings.

How to Take: Take 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.

What should I watch for while using this medication? 

Before starting LANOXIN/TOLOXIN (Digoxin), make sure your physician is aware of any allergies   medications you currently take.  Your doctor should educate you about the signs and symptoms of digoxin toxicity which can include anorexia, nausea, vomiting, visual changes, cardiac arrhythmias. Patients who have a higher predisposition to digoxin toxicity include those with low bodyweight, elderly, impaired renal function and electrolyte disturbances (i.e. hypokalemia, hypercalcemia and hypomagnesemia).

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

How should I store this medication?

Keep out of the reach of children at all times.  Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C).  Protect from light.  Keep the container tightly closed. Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.

What are the possible side effects of using this medication? 

Asystole, atrial tachycardia, first-, second-, third-degree heart block, edema, ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation, dizziness, mental disturbances, headache, apathy, anxiety, confusion, delirium, depression, fever, hallucinations, rash, urticaria, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, visual disturbances.

Note this is not a complete list of side effects for LANOXIN/TOLOXIN (Digoxin), only common ones.