Digoxin is a drug used to treat congestive heart failure and atrial fibrillation by making the heart beat stronger and with a more regular rhythm. To understand the importance this drug plays in those who suffer from the above mentioned conditions, a general understanding of these conditions is needed.
According to US Recall News from April 2008,
A class I recall is being issued on all Digitek (digoxin) tablets, which may contain twice the approved level of digoxin.The existence of double-strength pills pose a risk of digitalis toxicity, which can result in nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, cardiac instability, bradycardia and even death.
Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), according to the American Heart Association, is a condition in which the heart is not able to pump enough blood to the body’s other organs. The heart is working, but not as efficiently as the body needs. Because of this, a person with CHF cannot exert themselves because they become short of breath and tired.
As blood flow out of the heart slows, blood returning to the heart through the veins backs up, causing congestion in the tissues. Often swelling (edema) results. Most often there’s swelling in the legs and ankles, but it can happen in other parts of the body, too. Sometimes fluid collects in the lungs and interferes with breathing, causing shortness of breath, especially when a person is lying down.
Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is a disorder in which the heart’s two small upper chambers (the atria) quiver instead of beating effectively. Blood isn’t pumped completely out of the atria, so there is a chance for it to pool and clot. If a piece of a blood clot in the atria leaves the heart and becomes lodged in an artery in the brain, a stroke results. About 15 percent of strokes occur in people with atrial fibrillation and about 2.2 million Americans suffer from AF.