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What is Digitalis and Why it is Used

What is Digitalis

Disclaimer of liability

The information in this section of cardiovascular drugs was obtained from various sources. The intent is to provide information on certain drugs, but all possible uses, warnings, side effects or interactions with other medicines are not included. The information does not constitute medical advice for individual problems. Please consult your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.

Why should I take Digitalis?

It is used to treat Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and heart rhythm disturbances (atrial arrhythmias). It can increase flow of blood throughout the body and reduce swelling in the hands and ankles.

How do the digitalis?

Digitalis make the heart beat stronger by increasing the amount of calcium in heart cells. (Calcium stimulates the heartbeat.) When the drug reaches the heart muscle, binds to receptors sodium and potassium. These receptors control the amount of calcium in the cardiac muscle calcium stopping the output of the cells. As calcium builds up in the cells, increases the strength of the heartbeat.

Digitalis controls the heart rhythm irregularities (called arrhythmias) by slowing the signals that originate in the sinoatrial (SA). This in turn reduces the number of signals passing through the atrioventricular (AV). A small number of signals involve a small number of arrhythmias.

How much should I take?

The doctor will tell you how much medicine to take and prescribe the appropriate amount.

The amount of medication needed may vary. Follow your doctor’s instructions when taking this medicine.

Children’s doses are based on weight. The doctor will determine the appropriate dose.

If you are taking the drug in liquid form, you must measure the amount to be taken using only the specially marked dropper that comes with the bottle of medicine.

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember from oblivion unless you need to take the next dose within 12 hours. In that case continue taking the medicine as usual. Do not double the next dose.

Do not stop taking digitalis unless the doctor tells you.

What if I am taking other drugs?

If you are taking other medicines that may increase or reduce the effect of digitalis. These effects are what are called an interaction. Be sure to tell your doctor all the medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements you are taking, so that it can inform possible interactions.The following medicines that can increase or decrease the effect of digitalis. The name of each is indicated on the list.Tell your doctor about all the medicines you are taking, even if not listed below.

Medicines to treat an abnormal heart rhythm (antiarrhythmics)

Specific Antibiotics

Calcium channel blockers

Other cardiac medicines

Certain drugs for anxiety (anxiolytics)


Drugs for stomach ulcers or

Diarrhea medicine (containing diphenoxylate)



Certain anticancer drugs

Medications for ulcerative

Certain cholesterol-lowering

While taking digitalis should also avoid drinking or eating products containing caffeine and should not take slimming, laxatives or medicines for cough, cold and sinus.

What else should I tell my doctor?

Talk to your doctor about your health before you start taking digitalis background. The risks of taking the medicine against the benefits should be considered. The following are factors to be taken into account when deciding whether it is advisable to take digitalis.

He is allergic to certain foods or digitalis or dyes.

Plan to become pregnant, you are pregnant or breastfeeding your baby.

He has over 60 years of age and is underweight or frail.

Suffering from other diseases, such as thyroid disease,liver, lung or kidney.

What are the side effects?

Sometimes a medicine may cause unwanted effects. These are called side effects. Not all side effects of digitalis listed below. Consult your doctor if you experience these or other side effects.

Serious side effects:

An abnormal heart rhythm that causes dizziness, a feeling that has accelerated the heart (palpitations), shortness of breath, sweating or fainting

Hallucinations, confusion and mental disorders such as depression

Unusual tiredness or weakness

Vision problems, such as blurred vision, double vision or perception of yellow, green or white halos around objects

Loss of appetite or nausea

Common side effects:


Chest enlargement in men

Less common side effects:

Urticaria or other rash


Numbness or tingling around the body

Eye sensitivity to light



Tell your doctor immediately if any of these side effects. Do not stop taking this medicine unless the doctor tells you. If you stop taking the medication without consulting the doctor, his health could deteriorate.

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