Who Can Take Lanoxin and How Does It Work?

How Does Lanoxin Work?

Lanoxin works by blocking sodium-potassium ATPase, an enzyme in the body that controls the amount of sodium and potassium that enters cells. Blocking sodium-potassium ATPase leads to an increase in the amount of calcium and potassium inside heart cells. This helps the heart contract more forcefully with each heartbeat so that it is more efficient at pumping blood throughout the body. It also slows down the rate at which the heart beats.
 

Can Children Use It?

Lanoxin is approved for use in children, including infants and newborns. It may also be used in premature infants; however, premature infants may be especially sensitive to the effects of Lanoxin. Doses are highly individualized in infants, usually based on weight.
 

Can Older Adults Use It?

Yes -- in fact, Lanoxin is often used in older adults, a group already predisposed to developing congestive heart failure and atrial fibrillation. Older adults are often started on lower Lanoxin dosages, as they may be more sensitive to the medication.
 

Off-Label Uses for Lanoxin

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend this product for treating something other than the conditions discussed in this article. This is called an "off-label" use. Some off-label Lanoxin uses may include:
 
  • After a myocardial infarction (MI, or heart attack)
  • Treating certain complications of ventricular septal defects (a type of heart defect)
  • Treatment of other types of heart arrhythmias.
     
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