When many of the commonly prescribed heart medications are neither helping or delivering results, doctors have been known to prescribe Digoxin. Derived from certain plants, Digoxin has been known to provide relief to otherwise elusive heart problem relief.
However, this drug has also proved quite controversial as it has a number of adverse problems associated with it as well. In order to understand what exactly this drug possesses such a paradoxical nature it is important to look at an overview of it.
It goes without saying that a heart condition is a serious medical problem. As such, the need for medication to address various aspects of heart related problems is required. In the past, the volume of drugs designed to aid those with heart problems was limited. Today, there are a multitude of drugs that can all deal with heart problems and the various stages of heart disease. Digoxin is one such unique heart ailment drug. What makes it unique is that it is used to treat highly complex heart condition related problems. Unfortunately, the drug also comes with a number of unfortunate side effects that have tarnished the name of the drug significantly.
There are three major variants of heart related problems that Digoxin is designed to treat. These include atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter and even outright heart failure. The final item, heart failure, is fairly self explanatory. The other two conditions require a more detailed explanation. Atrial fibrillation is essentially an abnormal rhythm of the heart. This problem occurs in the atria which is the upper two chambers of the heart. If a pulse or an electrocardiogram displays that heart beats are not occurring at regular intervals then the presence of atrial fibrillation is most likely. Atrial Flutter is also a form of abnormal heart rhythm. This particular ailment involves the speeding up of the heart rate. The onset of this problem has also been known to segue into atrial fibrillation as well.
Since the problem the patient faces involves abnormal heart rhythms, it go without saying that ingesting Digoxin is intended to re-regulate the heart back to its normal rhythm. This is achieved through the effect the drug has on the electrical impulses present in the heart. This re-manipulation of the heart restores it to its original and proper heart rhythm. Well, that is the intention. Things do not always work out properly and adverse results have been noted. These adverse results have included extreme nausea, dizziness, low blood pressure and a host of other problems as well. These adverse effects have resulted in the drug becoming quite controversial and the recipient of a number of liability lawsuits.
The use of this drug, however, continues. It is normally prescribed as an oral drug and this is the form it is most commonly administered. However, it is not without precedent for the drug to be taken in the form of an IV although this method of delivery is no where near as widespread as the pill form version.
It is important to discuss any potential side effects of this (or any drug) with your doctor. Often, patients will be given written material describing the drug, its origin, its intended use and any side effects associated with the drug. Unfortunately, many patients do not read these items and do not discuss the potential side effects with a physician. To avoid the instance of taking a drug you might not be comfortable with it is important to learn as much about the drug as possible and raise any questions of concern. Of course, this does not absolve the drug's manufacturer in the case of any adverse side effects.