Digoxin is a cardiac glycoside originally obtained from the Foxglove plant. It works by altering how certain cells pump in and out electrolytes (sodium and potassium). The end result is an increase in amount of calcium within the heart cells. This increase in calcium helps the heart muscle contract stronger and slows the speed of electric impulses through the heart. It is used for treatment of congestive heart failure and elevated heart rates; often used in combination with other drugs.
Helpful in controlling congestive heart failure
Slows heart rate in any patient
Heart rate control in patients with atrial fibrillation
Arrhythmia control in patients with atrial flutter or other supraventricular tachycardias
Please contact CVCA should any of these symptoms be noted.
Adverse effects of digoxin are usually associated with high or toxic blood levels of the drug.
Stomach upset is the most common side effect. Please contact CVCA should you note a poor appetite, weight loss, or any vomiting or diarrhea
Can result in various abnormal heart rhythms when at high levels (heart block, ventricular and atrial arrhythmias often in combination).
Increased risk for toxicity in patients with kidney disease, certain breeds (mostly herding breeds/MDR1 defect), and those with low potassium.
Best given with food
Tablet and liquid formulations available. Unfortunately, the liquid can not be made into a flavored suspension
Increasing dietary fiber and certain concurrent medications may alter how Digoxin is absorbed
Please do not increase the dose without the recommendation of a veterinarian
Do not double up on missed doses. It is better to skip a dose if there is any question
Blood chemistry and serum Digoxin levels are recommended at least every 6 months
Interactions with Other Drugs
Some drugs may decrease digoxin levels (antacids, kaopectate, certain chemotherapy drugs, metoclopramide)
Some drugs may increase digoxin levels (erythromycin, clarithromycin, tetracycline, spironolactone, traconazole, alprazolam)
The doctors at CVCA have taken this into account, however, please feel free to contact us regarding any concurrent medications your pet may be prescribed