Safety Alerts & Recalls

What does this mean?

If you are taking Digoxin, be sure to follow your physician's instructions on how to take the medication. If you have any questions about your dosage or how you are supposed to take Digoxin, you should contact your physician or pharmacist for help.

More broadly, this article suggests the need for hospitalized patients to understand exactly how and when to take their medications before leaving the hospital. If you or a family member is hospitalized, follow these guidelines to avoid making mistakes with your medicines after discharge.

Before discharge from the hospital:

1) Ask your nurse to review with you the written instructions about all the medicines you should take at home. Be sure you know which medicines need a prescription and which can be bought over-the-counter (OTC).

2) Ask your nurse to compare the updated list of medicines you should take at home to a list of medicines you were taking before you were hospitalized. If you don't have a list with you, your nurse should have a list that you or your family provided upon admission.

3) Ask your nurse if you should stop or restart any medicines you were taking at home before you were hospitalized.

4) If a medicine is new, or if a dose has changed for a medicine you were previously taking, be sure you receive a new prescription. Ask if the new medicine replaces any medicines you took before being hospitalized.

5) Ask your nurse to write down the medicines (including doses and times) you received in the hospital on the day of discharge. Also ask your nurse to write down when you should take the next dose of each medicine on the list.

6) Ask your nurse to write down the telephone number for the nurses' station so you can call in case you have questions about your medicines during the first few days at home.

After discharge from the hospital:

1) If you have questions on how to take your medicines, don't hesitate to call your hospital nurse, doctor, or local pharmacist.

2) When filling a new prescription, tell your pharmacist about any OTC medicines, vitamins, or herbals you are taking, as well as any prescription medicines that were stopped.

3) When filling a new prescription, ask to speak with the pharmacist so you can learn as much as possible about any new medicine.

4) Properly dispose of any older medicines you are no longer taking.

5) If the dose or directions of an existing medicine have been changed, bring the prescription bottle to the pharmacy so the directions for use can be updated.

Important Information About Digoxin (Lanoxin)

A recent study published in the journal Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety suggests that patients hospitalized while taking Digoxin are at risk for complications shortly after discharge from the hospital. This finding results from the fact that Digoxin is a heart medicine that should be taken exactly as prescribed and be routinely monitored for signs that the dose is too high or is becoming too high. Signs of too much Digoxin include changes in vision (such as halos or lights around objects, blurred vision, or blind spots), confusion, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythms, or a heart rate that is too fast or too slow.

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Source: MediGuard CRT
Publication Date: 2009-09-14
Last Updated: 2009-12-05

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