Digitek is used to treat congestive heart failure, normally combined with a diuretic and an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor. It is also used to treat a heart rhythm problem called atrial fibrillation.
Digitek belongs to a class of medications called digitalis glycosides. It is used to improve the strength and efficiency of the heart or to control the rate and rhythm of the heartbeat.
This leads to better blood circulation and reduced swelling of the hands and ankles in patients with heart problems.
This medication is only available with your doctor’s prescription. This medication is available in the following forms:
2 What to Know Before Using
Before using Digitek, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. This is a decision that you and your doctor will make together.
For this medication, there are many things that need to be considered:
Allergies: Inform your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to any other medications. It is also important to inform your doctor of any non-medicine allergies such as foods, dyes, preservatives or animals.
Pediatric: No appropriate studies have been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of this medication in children. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Geriatric: Up-to-date studies have not shown any problems specific to the elderly that would limit the use of this medication in the elderly population. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney or heart problems which may require caution in elderly patients.
Pregnancy: This medication is listed as Pregnancy Category C. This means that animal studies have shown an adverse effect and no studies have been performed on pregnant women OR there are no adequate studies on pregnant animals and pregnant women.
Breastfeeding: Studies in women suggest that this medication poses minimal risk to the infant when used while breastfeeding.
Drug Interactions: Certain medications should not be used together. However, in certain cases, two medications may be used together, even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change your dose or take other precautions.
When taking this medication, it is important that you inform your doctor if you are taking any of the medications listed below. The following interactions were selected on the basis of potential significance and are not all-inclusive. Using this medication with any of the following is not recommended.
Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication, or change some of the other medications you take:
Using this medication with any of the following medication is not recommended, but may be unavoidable in some cases.
Your doctor may make the decision not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medications you take:
Other interactions: Certain medications should not be used while eating, or while eating certain foods in the case of negative interactions. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medications may also cause negative interactions. Talk with your doctor about the use of your medication with food, alcohol or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems: Pre-existing medical problems may affect the use of this medication.
Be sure to tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Blood vessel disease (i.e. arteriovenous shunt)
Hypocalcemia (low calcium in the blood)
Hypoxia (low oxygen in the blood)
Thyroid disease - Use with caution. Patients with these conditions may be less sensitive or resistant to the effects of digoxin.
Electrical cardioversion (a medical procedure) - Dose of digoxin may be reduced 1 to 2 days prior to electrical cardioversion of atrial fibrillation to avoid worsening of the condition.
Proper usage of Digitek requires strict adherence to your doctor’s orders. Do not take more, less or for a longer or shorter period of time than your doctor tells you.
This medication comes with a patient information brochure. It is very important that your read this information. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
Dosing: Different patients will be given a different dose of this medication based on the strength of the medication. The number of doses you take each day, the time between doses and the length of time you take this medication depends on the reason you are taking this medication.
The following information only includes the average dose of this medication. If your dose is different, do not change it without first speaking to your doctor.
Adults, teenagers, and children 10 years of age or older - Dose is based on age, medical condition, and body weight. To start, the dose is normally 10-15mcg per kg of body weight. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. The maintenance dose is normally 3-4.5mcg per kg of body weight per day.
Children 5-10 years of age - Dose is based on age, medical condition, and body weight. To start, the dose is normally 20-35mcg per kg of body weight. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. The maintenance dose is normally 5.6-11.3mcg per kg of body weight per day.
Children 2-5 years of age - Dose is based on age, medical condition, and body weight. To start, the dose is normally 30-45mcg per kg of body weight. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. The maintenance dose is normally 9.4-13.1mcg per kg of body weight per day.
Infants - 1 month to 24 months of age - Dose is based on age, medical condition, and body weight. To start, the dose is normally 35-60mcg per kg of body weight. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. The maintenance dose is normally 11.3-18.8mcg per kg of body weight per day.
Full-Term babies - Dose is based on age, medical condition, and body weight. To start, the dose is normally 25-35mcg per kg of body weight. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. The maintenance dose is normally 7.5-11.3mcg per kg of body weight per day.
Premature babies - Dose is based on age, medical condition, and body weight. To start, the dose is normally 20-30mcg per kg of body weight. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. The maintenance dose is normally 4.7-7.8mcg per kg of body weight per day.
Adults - Your doctor will give your first few doses intravenously and then you will switch to oral tablets. A maintenance dose of 0.125-0.5mg once a day will be given depending on body weight and medical condition.
Teenagers and children older than 10 years of age - Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor.
Children younger than 10 years of age - Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
Missed dose: If you miss a dose of this medication, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your normal dosing schedule. Do not double dose.
Storage: Store this medication in a closed container at room temperature. Keep it away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze.
Keep our of the reach of children. Do not keep expired medication or medication you no longer need. Ask your doctor how to dispose of any medication you do not use.
4 Precautions to Take
Before using Digitek, there are some precautions you must take. It is very important that your doctor checks in with you often while you are receiving this medication to make sure that it is working properly.
Do not take other prescription or over-the-counter medications without asking your doctor. Your doctor may want you to carry a medical ID card or bracelet stating that you are taking this medication
Be mindful of signs and symptoms of overdose while taking this medication. The amount of medication needed to help most people is very close to the amount that could cause serious problems for an overdose.
Early warning signs of an overdose include confusion, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or vision problems. Other signs include changes in heartbeat, palpitations, or fainting (syncope).
5 Potential Side Effects
As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Digitek. Although not all of these side-effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following side-effects:
Some side effects that may occur do not normally need medical attention. These may leave as your body becomes accustomed to treatment. Ask your doctor about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.
Talk to your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome, or if you have questions:
Some patients may experience other side effects that are not listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any other side effects. Ask your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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