Which medications in the drug class Cardiac Glycosides are used in the treatment of Holiday Heart Syndrome?

Updated: May 30, 2018
  • Author: Lawrence Rosenthal, MD, PhD, FACC, FHRS; Chief Editor: Jose M Dizon, MD  more...
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Cardiac Glycosides

Cardiac glycosides have direct and indirect cardiac effects. Their direct effect is in inhibiting the membrane sodium-potassium (Na+-K+) pump, raising intracellular levels of sodium and leading to an accumulation of intracellular calcium. This in turn increases cardiac contractility. Their indirect effect is in enhancing vagal tone.

Digoxin (Lanoxin, Lanoxicaps)

Digoxin's effects on atrioventricular nodal conduction are mediated via increased vagal tone. It is also characterized by positive inotropic effects on the myocardium via inhibition of the sodium-potassium ATPase, and the resultant increase in intracellular calcium. Digoxin has fallen out of favor in relatively recent years over concerns of proarrhythmias, drug-drug-interactions, and variable effects on overall long-term mortality depending on the population studied. In general, it should only be used for rate control in the presence of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction.

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