Commonly Used Brand Names in the United States
Lanoxin Elixir Pediatric (digoxin)
Therapeutic Uses for Digitalis Medicines
Digitalis medicines strengthen the contraction of the heart muscle, slow the heart rate, increase blood flow throughout the body, and reduce swelling in the hands and ankles. They are used to treat:
How Digitalis Medicines Work
Digitalis medicines strengthen the force of the heartbeat by increasing the amount of calcium in the heart’s muscle cells. (Calcium stimulates the heartbeat.) Digitalis binds to the sodium and potassium receptors in the heart muscle, which prevents the calcium from leaving the cells. As calcium builds up, it causes a stronger heartbeat. Digitalis medicines control arrhythmias by slowing the signals that start in the sinoatrial node and travel through the atrioventricular node. Fewer signals mean fewer arrhythmias.
The information in this section is meant to provide a brief description of this medicine. It does not cover all of the possible uses, warnings, dosages, side effects, or interactions with other medicines and vitamin or herbal supplements. This information should not be used as medical advice for individual problems.
Texas Heart Institute www.texasheartinstitute.com/HIC/Topics/Meds/digimeds.cfm
American Heart Association www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4537
Medline Plus www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/medmaster/a682301.html
Updated December 2015