Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Kidney function: Kidney disease or reduced kidney function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have reduced kidney function or kidney disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Magnesium levels: Low blood levels of magnesium increase the risk of side effects with digoxin. It is important that magnesium levels be checked periodically when taking digoxin.
Potassium levels: Low blood levels of potassium increase the risk of overdose with digoxin. It is important that potassium levels be checked periodically, especially if you are taking medications that can change the levels of potassium in the blood (e.g., hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide).
Potential overdose: The difference between an effective dose and an overdose is less for this medication than for most. Therefore, it is important to take digoxin exactly as prescribed. If you develop loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting while taking this medication, contact your doctor, as these may be signs that the dose is too high.
Thyroid function: The effect of digoxin on heart rhythm is affected by thyroid function. If you have thyroid disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Pregnancy: Digoxin should be taken by pregnant women only if clearly needed. The effects on the developing baby of the mother taking this medication during pregnancy are currently unknown.
Breast-feeding: This medication passes into breast milk. It is generally believed that the amount of digoxin in breast milk that a breast-fed infant would receive is not likely to affect the infant. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: This medication can be prescribed to children, however the dose needed by the child changes as the child gets older. Your child’s doctor will want to closely monitor the effectiveness of this medication for your child. Keep this medication out of the reach of children.
Seniors: As you age, your kidney function can decrease. If this happens you may need a lower dose of this medication.