Digoxin, Lanoxin


  • Tablets: 0.125 mg, 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg
  • Capsules: 0.05 mg, 0.1 mg, 0.2 mg
  • Pediatric Elixir: 0.05 mg/mL via dropper
  • Injectable: 0.1 mg/mL, 0.25 mg/mL


A cardiac glycoside, digoxin’s positive inotropic effects promotes movement of calcium from extracellular to intracellular cytoplasm, and inhibits sodium-potassium activated adenosine triphosphatase which increases myocardial contractility and output. It is able to increase diuresis, reduce edema, reduce heart rate, and blood volume. It is also able to reduce pulmonary congestion and venous pressure.

It is absorbed in the small intestine, distributed widely in tissues with the highest levels being in kidneys, heart, intestine, stomach, liver and skeletal muscle. The drug is only slightly metabolized, and is excreted by way of glomerular and tubular secretion.

Studies have not determined safety of giving the drug in pregnant or lactating animals.


Used in CHF due to venous congestion, arrhythmias, and dilated cardiomyopathy.

Drug Interactions or Contraindications

  • Not recommended to be mixed in with other medications.
  • Use cautiously in glomerulonephritis and severe pulmonary disease.
  • The following drugs may decrease digoxin’s absorption: antacids, cimetidine, metoclopramide, neomycin, and some chemotherapy agents.
  • Digoxin serum levels may increase or its elimination rate decreased, or toxic effects enhanced with the following drugs (see Considerations):
    • diazepam
    • quinidine
    • anticholinergics
    • succinylcholine
    • verapamil
    • tetracyclines
    • erythromycin
    • furosemide
    • thiazides
    • glucocorticoids
    • laxatives.

For additional information regarding interactions check with a Pharmacist.

Adverse Reactions

*Toxicity: Narrow margin of safety. Overdosage is a cumulative effect. The most serious of which is low potassium level (hypokalemia).

CNS: irritability, lethargy

CV: changes in heart rate, rhythm, irritability of the heart and mechanics of the heart.

GI: decreased appetite, abdominal pain, diarrhea, bowel necrosis.

Dosage Recommendations

0.0025 mg/lb, PO, BID  3, 12


0.005 mg/kg to 0.01 mg/kg, PO, q12hr to q24hr  35, 41, 44

*Note: smaller dosages should be used in animals with hyponatremia (low sodium), hypokalemia (low potassium), hypercalcemia (high calcium), and hypo or hyperthyroidism.


  • May be used in combined treatment with a diuretic (e.g., Lasix), and / or ACE inhibitors as deemed appropriate by a veterinarian, and where benefit outweighs risk.
  • Food may delay the drugs absorption but does not alter it.
  • Store at room temperature, away from light.


Links to

Linked from


The Rat Guide and its affiliates accept no responsibility for misuse or misunderstanding of its information. This guide in whole or part, exists solely for the purpose of recognizing and understanding the care and illnesses in the pet rat. Please seek advice and treatment from a qualified Veterinarian if your rat is ill.

2000 - 2024 by Karen Grant RN. All rights reserved.
All other written and visual materials used by permission of specific authors for the sole use of the Rat Guide. Please visit our Privacy Policy for details.
Brought to you by KuddlyKorner4u
See Logos page for linking to the Rat Guide.
Contact us here: Rat Guide Team
Please note: Rat Guide email is not checked daily. Send e-mail to if you have an urgent medical problem with your pet rat. When possible, it is always best to take your rat to a qualified rat veterinarian.