Which medications in the drug class Cardiac Glycosides are used in the treatment of Idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension?

Updated: Jul 08, 2020
  • Author: Ronald J Oudiz, MD, FACP, FACC, FCCP; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Cardiac Glycosides

Digoxin therapy can be used to improve right ventricular function in patients with right ventricular failure. However, no randomized controlled clinical study has been performed to validate this strategy for patients with IPAH or any other form of PAH.

Digoxin (Lanoxin)

Digoxin enhances myocardial contractility by inhibition of Na+/K+ ATPase, a cell membrane enzyme that extrudes Na+ and brings K+ into the myocyte. It has direct inotropic effects in addition to indirect effects on the cardiovascular system. It increases myocardial systolic contractions and exerts vagomimetic action on sinus and AV nodes (slowing heart rate and conduction). Also, it decreases the degree of activation of sympathetic nervous system and renin-angiotensin system, which is referred to as the deactivating effect.

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