Lanoxin Uses

The primary uses for Lanoxin include the treatment of atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure. Although Lanoxin is not a cure for these conditions, it can help control the heart rate and reduce the need for hospitalization. This medication is approved for adults, children, infants, and newborns. In some cases, it is also prescribed "off-label," such as for use after a heart attack.

What Is Lanoxin Used For?

Lanoxin® (digoxin) is a prescription medication that belongs to a class of drugs known as cardiac glycosides. Approved uses of this product include the treatment of:
Lanoxin comes in the form of a tablet and an injection. The injection is available in a regular-strength version and a lower pediatric strength (Lanoxin pediatric injection).

Using Lanoxin for Heart Failure

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a condition in which the heart does not pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. Heart failure does not mean that your heart has stopped or is about to stop working. It means that your heart is not able to pump blood the way that it should.
As the pumping action of the heart grows weak, blood starts to back up in areas of the body. This backup of blood causes fluid to build up in body tissues, leading to symptoms of heart failure, such as:
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Swelling in the legs, ankles, and feet
  • Weight gain.
Heart failure can affect the left side, the right side, or both sides of the heart. In left-sided heart failure, the fluid builds up in the lungs, causing shortness of breath. In right-sided heart failure, fluid usually builds up in the legs and feet, causing swelling of these body areas (edema).
(Click Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure for more information on the common signs of this condition.)
Lanoxin is approved for the treatment of mild-to-moderate heart failure. It helps the heart pump more efficiently, which allows more blood to be pumped from the heart. In clinical studies, using Lanoxin has been shown to:
  • Decrease hospitalization due to heart failure
  • Decrease the need for emergency heart failure treatment
  • Improve heart failure symptoms (exercise tolerance).
The majority of people in clinical trials were taking other medications, in addition to Lanoxin, for their heart failure. Specifically, Lanoxin is often combined with a diuretic (a "water pill") and an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACE inhibitor).
Lanoxin does not cure congestive heart failure.
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Lanoxin Drug Information

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