How does this medicine work?
Digoxin (di-joks-in) is used for people with congestive heart failure and heart rhythm problems. It helps the heart to beat stronger and slower. These actions work together to allow the heart to pump more blood and oxygen to the body.
How should I give it?
Give digoxin at regular times (either once a day or every 12 hours) to keep a steady level in the bloodstream, and to make sure you remember to give it. Your child should be awake and alert when you give the medicine.
Digoxin comes as a tablet or liquid. If using liquid, draw up the correct amount of medicine in the medicine dropper or a syringe. Give a small squirt of the medicine inside the cheek. To avoid choking, let your child swallow each squirt before giving more.
Are there any precautions about food or other medicines?
It is best to give digoxin on an empty stomach. If you must give it with food, give it with only a small amount of food. Check with the doctor or pharmacist before giving any other prescription or non-prescription medicines, herbs, or vitamins.
What should I do if a dose is missed?
If one dose is missed, simply give the next dose at its regular time. Do not try to make up for the missed dose. If your child vomits (throws up) DO NOT give it again. If more than one dose is missed or vomited, call the doctor.
What are the side effects?
Your child may have some side effects such as drowsiness or an upset stomach.
When should I call the doctor?
Call the doctor right away if:
- signs of digoxin toxicity (too much digoxin in the blood):
- slower heartbeat than normal
- pale color
- extreme weakness or tiredness
- clammy or sweaty skin
- loss of appetite
- vomiting, diarrhea
- changes in vision (such as blurred vision or halos around objects)
- signs of allergic reaction:
- rash or hives
- trouble breathing - call 911
What else do I need to know?
An overdose of digoxin is very dangerous. If too much or the wrong kind of medicine is taken, call the Poison Control Center right away (1-800-222-1222) or go to the nearest emergency room for treatment. If your child is unconscious or has a seizure, call 911.
Store digoxin in its original container and away from direct sunlight or heat. Do not store it in humid places, such as the bathroom. Keep all medicines out of children's reach, locked up if possible
You and your child should know the names of all the medicines he or she is taking. Share this information with anyone involved in your child's care.
Before giving the first dose, read the label. Be sure it is what was prescribed. After a refill, if the medicine looks different to you, ask your pharmacist about it before giving it.
Check the label and expiration date before giving each dose. Ask your pharmacist what to do with outdated or unused medicines. If there is no "take-back" program empty them into the trash.
Always make sure you have enough medicine on hand. Each time you refill the prescription, check to see how many refills are left. If no refills are left, the pharmacist will need 2 or 3 days to contact the doctor to renew the prescription.
This sheet is not specific to your child but provides general information. If you have any questions, please call the clinic or pharmacy.
This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit www.childrensmn.org/educationmaterials.
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