Digitalis toxicity can lead to nausea, vomiting, dizziness, low blood pressure, cardiac instability and even death
Digitek is a medication that is widely used in the treatment of various heart conditions, namely atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter and sometimes heart failure that cannot be controlled by other means. Digitalis toxicity is a complication of digitalis therapy, or it may be caused by an acute ingestion of digitalis.
Digitalis toxicity can occur from a single exposure or chronic overmedication, or it may occur in patients with normal blood levels of digitalis if other risks are present.
Risks include taking digitalis medications such as Digitek (digoxin) or digitoxin, along with medications that interact with digitalis such as quinidine, verapamil, amiodarone, and others.
People with heart failure are commonly given diuretics (medications used to pull excess fluid from the body) along with digoxin. Many diuretics can cause potassium loss. Low levels of potassium in the body increase the risk of digitalis toxicity. Digitalis toxicity may also result from low levels of magnesium in the body.
Reduced kidney function will cause digitalis to accumulate in the body rather than being excreted normally through urine. Therefore, any disorders that disrupt kidney functioning (including dehydration) make digitalis toxicity more likely.
Evidence suggests that the incidence and severity of Digitek toxicity has decreased substantially in recent years.
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