What is the role of cardiac glycosides in the treatment of atrial flutter?

Updated: Nov 09, 2018
  • Author: Jesse Borke, MD, FACEP, FAAEM; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Answer

Answer

Cardiac glycosides decrease AV nodal conduction primarily by increasing vagal tone. These agents are used mainly in the context of atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter with congestive heart failure. Digoxin can be administered alone or with either a calcium antagonist or a beta blocker.

Digoxin toxicity is very rarely a cause of atrial flutter; however, ascertaining that atrial flutter is not caused by digoxin toxicity is important.


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