What is Digoxin?Digoxin is a glycoside composed of 3 sugars and a cardenolide. Pure digoxin is an odourless white crystal. Digoxin is not soluble in water.
DistributionDigoxin is mainly found and extracted from the leaves of foxglove (digitalis) plant.
Health Benefits of DigoxinDigoxin is a cardiac glycoside having an effect on the myocardium. It works by inhibiting sodium-potassium adenosine triphosphatase inside the cells of the heart. The margin between the effective doses and toxic doses is narrow. Digoxin is normally used in serum concentrations of 0.8 to 2.0 ng/ml. Administration of pure digoxin or extract from the foxglove plant should therefore be done under medical supervision. Pregnant or nursing women should take extra care when taking digoxin because it is not know if digoxin is not harmful to the unborn bay, and digoxin passes into the breast milk. When overdosed, digoxin will cause vomiting and nausea.
Digoxin is one of the most frequently used phytochemical to treat congestive heart failure and atrial fibrillation. Digoxin helps to regulate the heartbeat and makes the heart beat stronger. The benefits of digoxin are greatest in patients with severe heart failure, an enlarged heart and a third heart sound gallop.
One study (Lee DC et al. Heart failure in outpatients: a randomized trial of digoxin versus placebo. N Engl J Med 1982;306:699-705) demonstrated that compared with a placebo, digoxin improved signs and eased symptoms in patients with heart failure who had normal sinus rhythm and were receiving maintenance diuretic therapy.