PERSONAL BAGGAGE
A Tale of Marriage, Medicine and Murder

What does 'Digoxin' mean?

Find out what Digoxin means. Digoxin is explained by Margaret McMillion - author of PERSONAL BAGGAGE

Digoxin


Digoxin, also known as Lanoxin, requires a prescription, and is available as tablets, capsules, and in liquid and injectable form. The drug is indicated for disturbances in heart rhythm and when the pumping power of the heart is compromised (heart failure). Digoxin strengthens the contractions of the heart muscle and slows conduction of electrical impulses through specific areas of their pathways.

Before administering each dose the hospital nurse is required to measure and record the patient’s heart rate and if the rate is too slow, to hold the dose, take the blood pressure, and notify the patient’s doctor.

Side effects of Digoxin can be generalized muscle weakness, dizziness, fatigue, headache, blurred or yellow vision, light flashes, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. If the level of the drug in the patient’s blood becomes too high (toxic) heart function is compromised and over-administration, decreased elimination, and interactions with other drugs can increase the risk of toxicity, which causes irregularity of heart rhythm and heart block.

The level of potassium in the patient’s blood must be monitored because too much or too little potassium creates a dangerous situation, and if the patient is also taking a diuretic that causes him to excrete potassium in his urine it gets tricky.

On page 93 of PERSONAL BAGGAGE the hospital supervisor tells Penny about a telemetry patient with a toxic digoxin level.

Search result for 'digoxin' in PERSONAL BAGGAGE

Chapter 11: Chapter Eleven
14.
"... died.” Penny watched her boss for a reaction. Mrs. Gwen’s expression was stony, her eyes unreadable, and she changed the subject. “Penny, did they tell you in Report about the telemetry patient in 304 with a toxic digoxin level?” Deciding that her boss didn’t want to talk about ..."
"...“We discontinued her digoxin when she was admitted, so we’ve been trying to figure out why her level keeps rising, and this morning one of the floor nurses caught the patient’s daughter giving her a pill. The woman wasn’t trying to sneak and do it, either; she said the doctor told her ..."
36.
"... signs. Soon a nurse called back with a good report: normal vital signs and an alert patient without complaints of discomfort. The patient on telemetry number two was having a few irregular beats, as would be expected with an elevated digoxin level but not enough to set off an alarm. After ..."

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Digoxin
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