Digitalis vs Digoxin – Uses, side effects, differences

Filed in: Medicinal Plants.

Digitalis vs Digoxin - Uses, side effects, differences


The term digital is used for preparations of medications containing cardiac glycosides, which are extracted from the dried leaves of the foxglove plant (scientific name – Digitalis purpurea) and are used to strengthen contractions of the heart muscle.

Although the parts of the Foxglove plant It can be used for medicines, it is not safe for self-medication, in addition, all parts of the plant are poisonous.

Foxglove was brought to the US UU For European immigrants a few centuries ago.

It reaches about 5 feet in height, with many large, thick, hairy leaves at the base and tube-shaped flowers, spotted and purple. The variety grown in the gardens varies in color from white to a deep rose.

The medicinal effects of the Foxglove extract on the heart were first observed by William Withering, an English geologist, botanist, chemist and physician, at the end of the 18th century. Experimented with the extract in humans and birds.

In a treatise entitled: "The elder and an account of its medical properties, with practical comments on the Dropsy", reported on its results. Withering predicted that Foxglove could become some kind of heart medicine.


This medication acts directly on the heart muscle to regulate and strengthen the heartbeat.

In addition, it is used to treat certain heart conditions, such as heart rhythm problems (atrial arrhythmias) and congestive heart failure (CHF). In addition, it can reduce swelling in the ankles and hands, as well as increase the flow of blood throughout the human body.

In addition, it can be used to convert paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia to sinus rhythm.

In addition, this medication should be used to decrease the rapid ventricular velocity in atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation (an irregular rapid heart rate) not associated with the pre-excitation syndrome.

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Side effects

Common side effects include:

swelling of the feet and lower legs; fatigue and muscle weakness; headache; fainting, drowsiness or dizziness; loss of appetite; Diarrhea; bloody vomit; strong heartbeat; severe stomach pain; slow heartbeat

Very rare side effects may include:

blood in the stool or urine; tarry stools; shortness of breath perspiration; nausea; unusual fatigue bleeding from the gums; problematic breathing; Chest pain; unusual bleeding; Small raised lesions on the skin; Punctate red spots on the skin.

People with heart failure who use this. type of medicine often medications (better known as diuretics) are given that remove excess fluid from the body.

The problem is that most of these medications can cause the loss of potassium, and a deficiency of potassium in the body can greatly increase the risk of the side effects mentioned above. In addition, these side effects can occur in people who have a low magnesium level.

Drug interactionsmedicines pills medications

Drug interactions with this heart medication can occur with medications, such as propranolol, cholestyramine, and colestipol.


This medicine is extracted from the leaves of the Foxglove plant. The brand names of this medicine include Digitek, Lanoxin and Lanoxicaps. In addition, it can be found as a generic medicine.


Increases the strength of contraction of the heart muscle by inhibiting the activity of an enzyme that controls the movement of sodium, calcium and potassium in the heart muscle.

This increases the strength of your heart, affects the heart rate and removes excess water from the human body.

In addition, this medication is used to treat a disorder of the heart rhythm of the atria (atrial fibrillation) and heart failure.

This medicine can be administered as a gelatin capsule, tablet, intravenous injection or elixir (mainly for children).

As a tablet, it is administered orally and reaches a maximum concentration in approximately three hours at a level of 80 percent of the same dose administered intravenously.

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It is absorbed from 60 to 75 percent of the tablets and has a dominant half-life of 34 hours. This medication is usually excreted through the urine.

Side effects

Common side effects may include:

ventricular extrasystoles; bradycardia (slow heart rate); Stomach ache; nausea; eruption; dizziness or vertigo changes in vision; loss of appetite; unusual weight gain; swelling of the feet; Diarrhea; Stomach ache; drowsiness.

Occasionally, high levels of this medication can cause abnormal heart rhythms that can cause the patient to experience blackouts or palpitations, as well as neuropsychiatric complications (such as sleep disorders and confusion), eosinophilia (an unusual increase in peripheral blood eosinophilic leukocytes), gynecomastia, and rash.

You should not use this medicine if you have ventricular fibrillation (a disorder of the heart rhythm of the lower chambers of the heart or ventricles, which occurs when the heart beats with rapid electrical impulses).

This medication may also be prescribed for a child treat heart problems. However, it can have the following side effects:

anorexy; a heart rate slower than normal; vomit nausea; dysrhythmia

Pregnancy and lactation

Pregnant women should avoid this medication because the fetus absorbs it in the womb. In addition, the drug passes into breast milk and can adversely affect the baby.

Digitalis vs Digoxin – Differences

Digital medications are available only with a prescription. They are usually sold in capsules, tablets, injectables and in liquid form. Commonly used digital medicines include: digoxin (Lanoxin) and digitoxin (Crystodigin).

All have many benefits for the cardiovascular system, but also side effects, especially for people with potassium and magnesium deficiency.


Digitalis vs Digoxin – Uses, side effects, differences, Source:

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