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Digoxin by Lannett Company

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-Global generic will be used
-Current digoxin prices indicate recent manufacturers price increases



Trade Names:


General Description:

Digoxin is used to treat pets with congestive heart failure or heart rhythm disturbances. It will help the heart beat more strongly and regularly, and moves blood through the body better, thereby reducing fluid buildup in the lungs.

 What is this drug?
  • A cardiac glycoside; it slows down the heart rate and increases the contraction strength of the heart
  • Given by mouth
 Reasons for prescribing:
  • For the initial and chronic treatment of heart failure
  • For the control of various irregular heart beats (atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter)
  • Occasionally used to treat dilated cardiomyopathy
 What dogs/cats should not take this medication?
  • Pets with ventricular fibrillation or digitalis overdose
  • Cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Use with caution in Collie-breed dogs as they may be more sensitive to Central Nervous System effects
  • Use with caution in obese pets and those with kidney or thyroid disease, severe lung disease or those with an electrolyte imbalance
  • Safety has not been determined in breeding, pregnant or nursing animals
  • If your pet has had an allergic reaction to digoxin or like products

Read and follow the label carefully. Give the exact amount prescribed and only as often as directed.

Initial doses are often low, and increased gradually to a maintenance dose based upon blood levels and effects. Carefully follow your veterinarian's directions as to dosage and the need to monitor signs and check blood levels.

Dogs usually receive this drug two times a day.

Cats usually receive this drug once daily or once every 2nd or 3rd day. Do not give with food.

Give on an empty stomach. Ideally, give the medication at the same time(s) daily.

Ensure your pet has access to plenty of fresh, clean drinking water.

As the difference between the treatment dose and the dose that causes side effects is so small, do not adjust medication without contacting your veterinarian first.

Do not skip doses or stop giving the medication without consulting your veterinarian. Stopping suddenly can make the heart condition worse.

Baseline blood work is suggested to assess your pet's general health prior to initiating treatment.

Periodic blood work to monitor this drug's effect will be required. Blood is drawn 4-10 hours after the dose is given. Schedule your appointment accordingly.

Differences exist between various brands and forms (ie. tablets vs. capsules). If there is a need to change, your veterinarian may need to monitor your pet closely, recheck blood levels and adjust dosing accordingly.

Call ahead for refills.

 What if a dose is missed?

If a dose is missed, give it as soon as you can. If your next dose is less than 12 hours away, skip the missed dose and go back to the normal schedule. Do not give two doses at the same time. Contact your veterinarian if you miss giving doses two or more days in a row.

 What to tell/ask veterinarian before giving medication?

Talk to your veterinarian about:

  • When will your pet need to be rechecked
  • What tests may need to be performed prior to and during treatment with this drug
  • What are the risks and benefits of using this drug

Tell your veterinarian about:

  • If your pet has experienced side-effects on other drugs/products
  • If your pet has experienced digestive upset now or ever
  • If your pet has experienced liver or kidney disease now or ever
  • If your pet has experienced any other medical problems or allergies now or ever
  • All medicines and supplements that you are giving your pet or plan to give your pet, including those you can get without a prescription. Your veterinarian may want to check that all of your pet's medicines can be given together.
  • If your pet is pregnant or nursing or if you plan to breed your pet
 Storage and Warnings:

Store in a tight, light resistant, childproof container in a cool, dry place at room temperature away from heat and direct sunlight.

Keep this and all medication out of reach of children and pets. Not for human use.

Call your physician immediately if you accidentally take this product.

 Potential side effects:
  • Digoxin is used less frequently now that there are less toxic drugs available
  • Cats can be more sensitive to side effects than dogs
  • Potential complications include fatal abnormal heart rhythms and kidney failure
  • Most side effects are due to too much digoxin in the bloodstream and can be very serious. Watch for mild gastrointestinal effects (decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea), fatigue, changes in urination, weight loss or behavior changes or serious heart rhythm abnormalities. Contact your veterinarian if your pet develops any of these symptoms or your pet's heart condition seems to worsen.
 Can this drug be given with other drugs?
  • Yes, but possible interactions may occur with amphotericin B, antacids, anticholinergics, beta-blockers (ex. atenolol), calcium channel blocker (ex. diltiazem, verapamil), chemotherapeutics, cimetidine, corticosteroids, diazepam, diuretics, erythromycin, laxatives, metoclopramide, neomycin, penicillamine, quinidine, succinylcholine, tetracycline and thyroid replacement therapy drugs.
  • If your pet experiences any unusual reactions when taking multiple medications, contact your veterinarian

Contact your veterinarian immediately if pet receives more than the prescribed amount.

 What else should I know?

Notify your veterinarian if your animal's condition does not improve or worsens despite this treatment.

As with all prescribed medicines, digoxin should only be given to the pet for which it was prescribed. It should be given only for the condition for which it was prescribed.

 This is just a summary of information about digoxin. If you have any questions or concerns about digoxin or the condition it was prescribed for, contact your veterinarian.


Common Drug Name
Digoxin, Digitek

Common Brand Names
Lanoxin (human form)
Generic products are available.

Store at room temperature in tight, light resistant, childproof containers.

Used in dogs, cats, ferrets, hamsters, and birds to treat heart diseases, such as congestive heart failure, certain types of heart rhythm disorders, and sometimes, dilated cardiomyopathy.

Dose and Administration
Always follow the dosage instructions provided by your veterinarian. If you have difficulty giving the medication, contact your veterinarian.
Starting doses are often lower, and gradually increased to a maintenance dose based on blood levels and effects. Carefully follow your veterinarian’s directions as to dosage and the need to monitor signs and check blood levels.
Cats: Do not give with food; absorption may be decreased by as much as 50%.
If you miss a dose, give it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to the regular schedule. Do not give 2 doses at once.
This medication should only be given to the pet for whom it was prescribed.

Possible Side Effects
May see vomiting, diarrhea, depression, incoordination, loss of appetite, weight loss, weakness, and abnormal heart rhythms.
Consult with your veterinarian immediately if you see any of these signs or if your pet’s heart condition appears to worsen.
If your pet experiences an allergic reaction to the medication, signs may include facial swelling, hives, scratching, sudden onset of diarrhea, vomiting, shock, seizures, pale gums, cold limbs, or coma. If you observe any of these signs, contact your veterinarian immediately.

There is only a very small difference between the dose for treatment and a dose that could cause severe side effects and death. Do not adjust the medication amount without consulting with your veterinarian.
Potential complications include fatal abnormal heart rhythms and kidney failure.
Differences exist between brands and forms of the drug. Digoxin is better absorbed in the elixir and capsule forms than in the tablet form. Do not change brands or forms if possible. If there is a need to change, your veterinarian may need to monitor closely, recheck levels, and adjust the dose if indicated.
Do not use in breeding, pregnant, or lactating animals (female animals nursing their young); the safety of the drug has not been determined in these animals.
Do not use in animals with ventricular fibrillation, digitalis overdose, and certain other heart/lung conditions.
Use with caution in animals who are obese; have thyroid, kidney, or severe lung disease; or electrolyte abnormalities (e.g., abnormally low or high levels of potassium, sodium, or calcium in the blood).
Use with caution in Collies and other herding breeds, since they are more sensitive to some of the effects.
Cats: Cats are more sensitive to some side effects.
Consult with your veterinarian regarding the physical examinations and laboratory testing necessary prior to and during treatment with digoxin.

Drug, Food, and Test Interactions
Consult your veterinarian before using digoxin with any other medications, including vitamins and supplements, antacids, cimetidine, metoclopramide, oral neomycin, penicillamine, chemotherapy drugs, diuretics (furosemide, Lasix), amphotericin B, corticosteroids (prednisone, dexamethasone), laxatives, diazepam (Valium), quinidine, anticholinergic drugs (atropine), verapamil (another heart medication), tetracycline, erythromycin, and thyroid replacement therapy (thyroxine, Soloxine), since interactions may occur.

Signs of Toxicity/Overdose
May see the same signs as side effects: decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, incoordination, and weakness, as well as changes in urination.
High levels of digoxin can produce the side effects mentioned above, or the same signs as worsening of the heart condition.
If you know or suspect your pet has had an overdose, or if you observe any of these signs in your pet, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Keep this and all other medications out of the reach of children and pets.

This information may not cover all possible uses, directions, side effects, precautions, allergic reactions, drug interactions, or withdrawal times. Always consult your own veterinarian for specific advice concerning the treatment of your pet.

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