November 28, 2012
Atrial fibrillation drug under the microscope
Digoxin, a drug used to treat heart disease, is
associated with an increase in deaths in patients with atrial
fibrillation (AF), according to researchers.
A study of over 4,000 patients found that
digoxin was associated with a 41 percent increase in deaths from
any cause. This rise in deaths occurred regardless of
gender or the presence of underlying heart failure.
Patients who are prescribed digoxin should not stop taking their meds
Senior Cardiac Nurse, Natasha Stewart, said: “Heart patients
should not be too alarmed
by this study as digoxin
is not the primary treatment for atrial
in the UK.
“However, there are good reasons why some AF
and heart failure patients are still taking digoxin, as it can help
them to manage their condition.
“Before we jump to any conclusions about the
dangers of the drug, we’d need to see further
research into what might be causing these increased
risks. Patients who are prescribed digoxin should not stop
taking their meds without discussing their concerns with their
This research was published in The European