Lanoxin is a drug that is derived from the leaves of a digitalis plant. This medication is used in the treatment of heart failure since it helps the heart beat stronger and with a regular rhythm. The medication can also be used in the treatment of atrial fibrillation, which is a heart rhythm disorder from the upper chambers of the heart that allow blood flow into the heart.
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Lanoxin is used together with other drugs in the treatment of heart failure. The medication can also be used to treat some types of chronic atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat). Treating heart failure may help a patient maintain the ability to exercise, walk, and eventually improve the overall condition of the heart. Treating irregular heartbeats also reduces the risk for blood clots, which reduces a patient"s risk to a stroke or heart attack. This medication belongs to the cardiac glycosides class of drugs and works by affecting some minerals inside the heart cells. This helps in reducing heart strain and helps the heart maintain a steady, strong and normal heartbeat.
The dosage for Lanoxin depends on a patient"s medical condition, body weight, laboratory tests, age and response to therapy.
- Lanoxin should be taken by mouth with food as an option
- The drug is normally taken once a day or as directed by a medical professional
- In case a patient is using the liquid form then it should be carefully measured with the dropper provided by the manufacturer
- The starting dose should be 0.0625-0.25mg daily depending on kidney function and age
- The body may be unable to absorb Lanoxin in case the patient eats foods high in fiber or if the patient takes certain medications. Therefore, Lanoxin needs to be taken at least 2 hours before or after consuming foods that are rich in fiber
- The kidneys eliminate Lanoxin and, therefore, the dosage should be lowered for patients with kidney dysfunction. Doctors use Lanoxin blood levels to adjust doses to avoid toxicity
Lanoxin Side Effects
Lanoxin may cause some side effects even though doctors prescribe this drug after judging that the benefits exceed the risk of side effects. Some of the most common side effects associated with Lanoxin include:
- Mild skin rash
- Enlarged breasts in men
- Weakness, anxiety
- Loss of appetite
- Vomiting, nausea
- Mild skin rash
In case a patient experience serious side effects, then the patient should consult a doctor as fast as possible. Serious side effects include:
- Unusual thoughts or behavior, confusion, hallucinations
- Black or bloody stools
- Unusual heart rate
- Yellowed vision or blurred vision
Drug interactions may change how Lanoxin work or increase patient"s risk for serious side effects. Therefore, patients should inform the doctor about all the medications under use to enable the doctor monitor those drugs for any drug interactions. Patients should never change, start or stop the dosage of any medication without the doctor"s consent. Some drugs that can interact with Lanoxin include:
- Verapamil like Verelan PM, Covera-HS, Isoptin SR, Calan
- Quinidine or Quinaglute
- Amiodarone like Cordarone
- Alprazolam like Xanax XR, Xanax or Niravam
- Indomethacin like Indocin-SR or Indocin
- Beta Blockers like propranolol
- Calcium channel blockers
- Azole antifungals
- Macrolide antibiotics
These products can increase Lanoxin levels and the risk of toxicity.