The use and mechanismof action of digoxin
Digoxin is a medicine that is frequently used in thetreatment of wide range of heart conditions from abnormal heart rhythm (atrialfibrillation and atrial flutter) to even congestive heart failure in caseswhen the use of other medicines is excluded as an option. Digoxin may improve theability of myocardium to contract as well as the strength of the contraction. It may also normalize rapid atrial rhythms thus relieving the symptoms such astiredness pain in the chest and shortness of breath. It is believed that theway in which it is done has something to do with the fact that it affects andcontrols the movement of elements such as calcium, potassium and sodium intothe heart muscle.
Side effects ofdigoxin
Having in mind that this medicine may be effective on oneside, while on the other, it can be extremely toxic, the side effects here are experienceda bit more commonly than it is the case with other medicines used for thetreatment of heart conditions. Because of this toxic feature the doctors shouldbe extra careful when prescribing the doses. It is always recommended to startwith lower dose and then to increase it though the level of digoxin in bloodhas to be monitored and checked before the adjustment. Another thing that thedoctors who prescribe this medicine should be careful about is the possibilityof interaction. That is because there is a list of medicines with which digoxin should not be combined because of the increased risk of toxicity or the risk of reducedheart rate or abnormal heart rhythms. Some of these adverse effects may havefatal consequences.
Side effects which are not so serious but which are definitelyuncomfortable are headache, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, rash and dizziness. Inthe greatest majority of the cases in order to eliminate them it is onlynecessary to adjust the dose. However besides these digoxin may also causeproblems with vision such as blurred vision it can cause pain in the abdomenand enlargement of the breast. Heart block rapid heartbeat and slow heart rateare definitely the most serious problems which may be experienced because ofthis medicine which is why even the slightest changes of this kind should bereported to the doctor as soon as possible. Ignoring such symptoms orwaiting for them to go off on their own will only increase the risk of moreserious problems.