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Back to Drug index

Back to Antiarrhythmic class IV

Name: Digoxin

Lanoxicaps, Lanoxin

Pregnancy Category A

Drug classes
Cardiac glycoside
Antiarrhythmic drug - Class IV

Mechanism of action
Increases intracellular calcium and allows more calcium to enter the myocardial cell during depolarization via a sodium-potassium pump
mechanism; this increases force of contraction (positive inotropic effect), increases renal perfusion (seen as diuretic effect in patients
with CHF), decreases heart rate (negative chronotropic effect), and decreases AV node conduction velocity.


  1. CHF
  2. Atrial fibrillation
  3. Atrial flutter
  4. Paroxysmal atrial tachycardia


  1. Contraindicated in allergy to digitalis preparations,
  2. ventricular tachycardia,
  3. ventricular fibrillation,
  4. heart block,
  5. sick sinus syndrome,
  6. IHSS,
  7. acute MI,
  8. renal insufficiency and
  9. electrolyte abnormalities (decreased K+, decreased Mg++, increased Ca++).

Use caution in the presence of pregnancy and lactation.

Adverse effects

  • CNS: Headache, weakness, drowsiness, visual disturbances
  • GI: GI upset, anorexia
  • CV: Arrhythmias
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