Digoxin is effective, but is it safe?
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In the last 15 years several double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials have unequivocally shown that digitalis decreases symptoms of cardiac failure, results in a reduction in the need for hospitalization for treatment of congestive heart failure, and improves cardiac function. The major unresolved question concerning digitalis use is its safety. There are experimental data and clinical evidence that digitalis use may be associated with an increased mortality, particularly in the first year or two after an acute myocardial infarction. This increased mortality appears to be present even after adjustment for predictor covariants. This conclusion depends on the ability of statistical methods to account for differences in comorbidity. Since the question of digitalis safety remains after myocardial infarction, the physician should carefully examine the indications for administration of digitalis. More than the usual surveillance is required during chronic digitalis administration.
Key Wordsdigoxin digitalis digoxin efficacy digoxin safety post myocardial infarction independent risk factor
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