Digoxin

DIGOXIN- digoxin injection
General Injectables and Vaccines, Inc

HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION These highlights do not include all the information needed to use digoxin safely and effectively. See full prescribing information for digoxin. Digoxin Injection, for intravenous or intramuscular use Initial U.S. Approval: 1954 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

1.1 Heart Failure in Adults

Digoxin is indicated for the treatment of mild to moderate heart failure in adults. Digoxin increases left ventricular ejection fraction and imporves heart failure symptoms, as evidenced by improves heart failure symptoms, as evidenced by improved exercise capacity and decreased heart failure-related hospitalizations and emergency care, while having no effect on mortality. Where possible, digoxin should be used in combination with a diuretic and an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor.

1.2 Atrial Fibrillation in Adults

Digoxin is indicated for the control of ventricular response rate in adult patients with chronic atrial fibrillation.

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

2.1 Important Dosing and Administration Information

In selecting a digoxin dosing regimen, it is important to consider factors that affect digoxin blood levels (e.g., body weight, age, renal function, concomitant drugs) since toxic levels of digoxin are only slightlyhigher than therapeutic levels. Dosing can be either initiated with a loading dose followed by maintenance dosing if rapid titration is desired or initiated with maintenance dosing without a loading dose.

Parenteral administration of digoxin should be used only when the need for rapid digitalization is urgent or when the drug cannot be taken orallly. Intramuscular injection can lead to severe pain at the injection site, thus intravenous administration is preferred. If the drug must be administered by the intramuscular route, it should be injected deep into the muscle followed by massage. For adults, no more than 500 mcg of Digoxin Injection should be injected into a single site. For pediatric patients, see the full prescribing information for pediatric digoxin injection (not available from West-Ward) for specific recommendations.

Administer the dose over a period of 5 minutes or longer and avoid bolus administration to prevent systemic and coronary vasoconstriction. Mixing of Digoxin Injection with other drugs in the same container or simultaneous administration in the same intravenous line is not recommended.

Digoxin Injection can be administered undiluted or diluted with a 4-fold or greater volume of Sterile Water for Injection, 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, or 5% Dextrose Injection. The use of less than a 4 fold-volume of diluent could lead to precipitation of the digoxin. Immediate use of the diluted product is recommended.

If tuberculin syringes are used to measure very small doses do not flush with the parenteral solution after its contents are expelled into an indwelling vascular catheter to avoid over administration of digoxin.

Consider interruption or reduction in digoxin dose prior to electriclal cardioversion [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].

2.2 Loading Dosing Regimen in Adult Patients

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2.3 Maintenance Dosing in Adult Patients

The maintenance dose is based on lead body weight, renal function, age, and concomitant products [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

The recommended starting  maintenance dose in adult patients with normal renal function is given in Table 2. Doses may be increased every 2 weeks according to clinical response, serum drug levels and toxicity.

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Table 3 provides the recommended (once daily) maintenance dose for adult patients according to lean body weight and renal function. The doses are based on studies in adult patients with heart failure. Alternatively, the maintenance dose may be estimated by the following formula (peak body stores lost each day through elimination):

Total Maintenance Dose = Loading Dose (i.e., Peak Body Stores) x % Daily Loss/100 (%Daily Loss = 14 + Creatinine clearance/5)

Reduce the dose of digoxin in patients whose lean weight is an abnormally small fraction of their total body mass because of obesity or edema.

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2.4 Monitoring to Assess Safety, Efficacy, and Therapeutic Blood Levels

Monitor for signs and symptoms of digoxin toxicity and clinical response. Adjust dose based on toxicity, efficacy, and blood vessels.

Serum digoxin levels less than 0.5 ng/nL have been associated with diminished efficacy, while levels above 2 ng/mL have been associated with increased toxicity without increased benefit.

Interpret the serum digoxin concentration in the overall clinical context, and do not use an isolated measurement of serum digoxin concentration as the basis for increasing or decreasing the digoxin dose. Serum digoxin concentrations may be falsely elevated by endogenous digoxin-like substances [see Drug Interactions (7.4)]. If the assay is sensitive to these substances, consider obtaining a baseline digoxin level before starting digoxin and correct post-treatment values by the reported baseline level.

Obtain serum digoxin concentrations just before the next scheduled digoxin dose or at least 6 hours after the last dose. The digoxin concentration is likely to be 10-25% lower when sampled right before the next dose (24 hours after dosing) compared to sampling 8 hours after dosing (using once-daily dosing). However, there will be only minor differences in digoxin concentrations using twice daily dosing whether sampling is done at 8 or 12 hours after a dose.

2.5 Switching from Intravenous Digoxin to Oral Digoxin

When switching from intravenous to oral digoxin formulations, make allowances for differences in bioavailability when calculating maintenance dosages (see Table 4).

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DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS

Digoxin Injection: Ampuls of 500 mcg (0.5 mg) in 2 mL (250 mcg [0.25] per 1 mL).

CONTRAINDICATIONS

Digoxin is contraindicated in patients with:

  • Ventricular fibrillation [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]
  • Known hypersensitivity to digoxin (reactions seen include unexplained rash, swelling of the mouth, lips or throat or a difficulty in breathing). A hypersensitivity reaction to other digitalis preparations usually constitutes a contraindication to digoxin.

WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Ventricular Fibrillation in Patients With Accessory AV Pathway (Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome)

Patients with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome who develop atrial fibrillation are at high risk of ventricular fibrillation. Treatment of these patients with digoxin leads to greater slowing of conduction in the atrioventricular node than in accessory pathways, and the risks of rapid ventricular response leading to ventricular fibrillation are thereby increased.

5.2 Sinus Bradycardia and Sino-atrial Block

Digoxin may cause severe sinus bradycardia or sino-atrial block particularly in patients with pre-existing sinus node disease and may cause advanced or complete heart block in patients with pre-existing incomplete AV block. Consider insertion of a pacemake before treatment with digoxin.

5.3 Digoxin Toxicity

Signs and symptoms of digoxin toxicity include anorexia, nausea, vomiting, visual changes and cardiac arrhythmias [first-degree, second-degree (Wenckebach), or third-degree heart block (including asystole); atrial tachycardia with block; av dissociation; accelerated junctional (nodal) rhythm; unifocal or multiform ventricular premature contractions (especially bigeminy or trigeminy); ventricular tachycardia; and ventricular fibrillation]. Toxicity is usuallyassociated with digoxin levels greater than 2 ng/mL although symptoms may also occur at lower levels. Low body weight, advanced age or impaired renal function, hypomagnesemia may predispose to digoxin toxicity. Obtain serum digoxin levels in patients with signs or symptoms of digoxin therapy and interrupt or adjust dose if necessary [see Adverse Reactions (6) and Overdosage (10) ]. Assess serum electrolytes and renal function periodically.

The earliest and most frequent manifestation of digoxin toxicity in infants and children is the appearance of cardiac arrhythmias, including sinus bradycardia. In children, the use of digoxin may product any arrhythmia. The most common are conduction disturbances or supraventricular tacharrhythmias, such as atrial tachycardia (with or without block) and junctional (nodal) tachycardia. Ventricular arrhythmias are less common. Sinus bradycardia may be a sign of impending digoxin intoxication, especially in infants, even in the absence of first-degree heart block. Any arrhythmias or alteration in cardiac conduction that develops in a child taking digoxin should initially be assumed to be a consequence of digoxin intoxication.

Given that adult patients with heart failure have some sympotoms in common with digoxin toxicity, it may be difficult to distinguish digoxin toxicity from heart failure. Misidentification of their etiology might lead the clinician to continue or increase digoxin dosing, when dosing should actually be suspended. When the itiology of these signs and symptoms is not clear, measure serum digoxin levels.

5.4 Risk of Ventricular Arrhythmias During Electrical Cardioversion

It may be desirable to reduce the dose of or discontinue digoxin for 1-2 days prior to electrical cardioversion of atrial fibrillation to avoid the induction of ventricular arrhythmias, but physicians must consider the consequenc3es of increasing the ventricular response if digoxin is decreased or withdrawn. If digitalis toxicity is suspected, elective cardioversion should be delayed. If it is not prudent to delay cardioversion, the lowest possible energy level should be selected to avoid provoking ventricular arrhythmias.

5.5 Risk of Ischemia in Patients With Acute Myocardial Infarction

Digoxin is not recommended in patients with acute myocardial infarction because digoxin may increase myocardial oxygen demand and lead to ischemia.

5.6 Vasoconstriction in Patients With Myocarditis

Digoxin can precipitate vasoconstriction and may promote production of pro-inflammatory cytokines; therefore, avoid use in patients with myocarditis.

5.7 Decreased Cardiac Output in Patients With Preserved Left Ventricular Systolic Function

Patients with heart failure associated with preserved left ventricular ejection fraction may experience decreased cardiac output with use of digoxin. Such disorders include restrictive cardiomyopathy, constrictive pericarditis, amyloid heart disease, and acute cor pulmonate. Patients with idiopathic hypertrophic subaortic stenosis may have worsening of the outflow obstruction due to the inotropic effects of digoxin. Patients with amyloid heart disease may be ore susceptible to digoxin toxicity effects of digoxin. Patients with amyloid heart disease may be more susceptible to digoxin toxicity at therapeutic levels because of an increased binding of digoxin to extracellular amyloid fibrils.

Digoxin should generally be avoided in these patients, although it has been used for ventricular rate control in the subgroup of patients with atrial fibrillation.

5.8 Reduced Efficacy in Patients With Hypocalcemia

Hypocalcemia can nullify the effects of digoxin in humans; thus, digoxin may be ineffective until serum calcium is restored to normal. These interactions are related to the fact that digoxin affects contractility and excitability of the heart in a manner similar to that of calcium.

5.9 Altered Response in Thyroid Disorders and Hypermetabolic States

Hypothyroidism may reduce the requirements for digoxin.

Heart failure and/or atrial arrhythmias resulting from hypermetabolic or hyperdynamic states (e.g., hyperthyroidism, hyposia, or arteriovenous shunt) are best treated by addressing the underlying condition. Atrial arrhythmias associated with hypermetabollic states are particularly resistant to digoxin treatment. Patients with beri beri heart disease may fail to respond adequately to digoxin if the underlying thiamine deficiency is not treated concomitantly.

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