Research Raises Doubts over Heart Drug Digoxin

Research Raises Doubts over Heart Drug DigoxinA recent research has raised questions over a commonly used heart drug which is doubted to be behind deaths of many. Nonetheless, there are experts who claim it to be safe enough.

It was only after examining 4,000 patients that researchers at the University of Kentucky claimed that digoxin treatment for atria fibrillation (AF) could be behind risking life by 41%. It has been found that for every six patients on digoxin for five years, there are reports confirming that one would surely die because of the drug.

It was found during the trail of 4,060 patients, with half of them being given digoxin and rest on different heart medications or treatments, that 666 patients have died, including 375 who were confirmed to be on digoxin before their death.

It is believed that apart from the reason behind increase of 41% in deaths, the drug was found to increase deaths by 35% from cardiovascular causes and 61% due to irregular heart rhythm, or arrhythmia (other than AF). Having said all the same, it has been claimed that it doesn't mean that patients should stop taking the drug.

"Heart patients should not be too alarmed by this study as digoxin is not the primary treatment for atria fibrillation in the UK", said Natasha Stewart, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation (BHF).