Which medications in the drug class Cardiac glycosides are used in the treatment of Atrial Fibrillation?

Updated: Nov 18, 2019
  • Author: Lawrence Rosenthal, MD, PhD, FACC, FHRS; Chief Editor: Jeffrey N Rottman, MD  more...
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Answer

Cardiac glycosides

These drugs slow AV nodal conduction primarily by increasing vagal tone. They are used primarily in the setting of AF with CHF.

Digoxin (Lanoxin)

Digoxin slows the sinus node and AV node via vagomimetic effects and is not very effective if sympathetic tone is increased. It is generally not recommended unless depressed LV function is present. Digoxin can be effective in sedentary patients (especially in those with heart failure) but requires close monitoring of drug levels and renal function. Combinations of rate-control medications (eg, a beta-blocker and digoxin) may be superior to individual agents in some patients.


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