Digoxin is used to treat heart diseases such as congestive heart failure, certain types of heart rhythm disorders, and sometimes, dilated cardiomyopathy.
For: Cats and Dogs
How it works: Digoxin works by affecting the minerals sodium and potassium inside your pet’s heart cells. This action reduces strain on the heart and helps it maintain a normal, steady, and strong beat.
Dosage & Administration: Give this medication exactly as directed by your veterinarian. Digoxin should be given with lots of water. Digoxin should be given to your pet at the same times every day. Periodic blood tests may be necessary during treatment with digoxin to monitor the amount of medication in the pets body. If you do not understand the directions ask the pharmacist or veterinarian to explain them to you. Store digoxin at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep this medication away from children and pets.
Tips: Because the difference between the treatment dose and the dose that causes side effects is small, do not adjust medication without contacting the veterinarian.
What happens if I miss a dose: Give the missed dose as soon as you remember during the same day. However, if you are within 12 hours of the next dose, skip the dose you missed and give only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not give a double dose of the medication.
What happens if I overdose the pet: Seek emergency veterinary medical treatment. Symptoms of digoxin overdose include nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite, diarrhea, confusion, seizures, hallucinations, fatigue, irregular heartbeats, and abnormally fast or slow heartbeats.
What should I avoid while using Digoxin: There are no restrictions on food or activity while the pet is on digoxin unless otherwise directed by the veterinarian.
Possible side effects of Digoxin: If any of the following serious side effects occur, stop giving digoxin and seek emergency veterinary medical attention; an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; swelling of the lips, tongue or face; hives), headache, fainting or extreme drowsiness or dizziness, irregular heartbeats, slow heartbeats, abnormally fast heartbeats, hallucinations or abnormal behavior. Other less serious side effects may occur. Continue giving digoxin and talk to your veterinarian if your pet experiences decrease appetite and diarrhea, unusual tiredness or weakness, nausea or vomiting, dizziness or drowsiness. Other side effects may also occur. Talk to your veterinarian about any side effect that seems unusual or bothersome to the animal.
What other drugs will affect Digoxin: Tell the veterinarian if your pet is also taking an antacid or laxative that contains aluminum, magnesium or kaolin-pectin, a beta-blocker such as atenolol, a calcium channel blocker such as Norvasc, a cancer chemotherapy drug, a diuretic such as furosemide, a steroid medication such as prednisone, a thyroid medication, erythromycin, metoclopramide or tetracycline. Drugs other than those listed may also interact with digoxin. Talk to your veterinarian or pharmacist before giving any prescription or over the counter medicines.
What should I discuss with my veterinarian before using Digoxin: Tell your veterinarian if your pet has kidney disease, thyroid disease or is being given any other heart medication. Also tell your veterinarian if the pet is pregnant or lactating.
Cautions: Because the difference between the treatment dose and the dose that causes side effects is small, do not adjust the medication without contacting your veterinarian. Contact your veterinarian if your pet shows decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, incoordination, changes in urination, or weakness while being treated with digoxin.