Digitalis


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Digitalis

 [dij″ĭ-tal´is]
a genus of herbs. D. lana´ta yields digoxin and lanatoside and D. purpu´rea, the purple foxglove, has leaves that are a source of digitalis.

digitalis

 [dij″ĭ-tal´is]
dried leaf of Digitalis purpurea; a cardiac glycoside. All drugs prepared from this digitalis leaf are members of the same group and principles of administration are the same, although they vary according to speed of action and potency. Digitalis in its many forms is one of the most frequently prescribed drugs in the United States. It can be very effective in treatment of cardiac conditions, but its therapeutic range is narrow; a therapeutic dose is only about one third less than the dose that will induce toxicity. Moreover, physiologic changes due to age, electrolyte disturbances, renal impairment, metabolic disorders, and certain heart conditions can predispose a patient to digitalis toxicity. Other drugs can also alter the effects of digitalis and lead to toxicity.
Signs of Toxicity. Traditionally, nurses have been taught to count the patient's pulse or monitor the apical heartbeat for rate and rhythm before administering a digitalis preparation. A decreased pulse rate of 60 per minute or less is an indication that the drug should be temporarily discontinued. While this is the most typical sign of digitalis intoxication, there frequently are earlier symptoms that deserve attention. Some of the more common complaints expressed by patients who are in the early stages of toxicity are nausea, blurred vision, mental depression, disorientation, and malaise. Objective signs include vomiting, diarrhea, and confusion.
Drug Interactions. Unfortunately, most patients who take digitalis also have other drugs prescribed for the management of their illness. The risk of drug interactions and digitalis toxicity increases in proportion to the number of drugs being taken concurrently. One of the most common interactions is with a thiazide diuretic, which can enhance the effect of digitalis and can also lower potassium levels in the blood. Potassium decreases the likelihood of digitalis toxicity and so it is essential that hypokalemia be avoided. Since many patients who take digitalis are on restricted caloric and fluid intake, they cannot adequately replace lost potassium by eating enough potassium-rich foods and need a potassium supplement.
Patient Education. There is a danger of complacency about this drug because it is so familiar and so frequently prescribed for self-medication. Without unduly alarming the patient, it is imperative that the action of the drug and its potential for harm if it is not taken as prescribed and with caution are explained. The patient must be informed about the interactions of digitalis with over-the-counter drugs such as antacids and cold remedies that contain ephedrine. The patient should know the signs and symptoms of digitalis toxicity and appreciate the importance of notifying the primary health care provider should any of these signs appear. If the patient does not know how to check the pulse for rate and rhythm, he or she will need to learn how and to learn why it is important to stop taking the drug and notify the physician should the pulse rate fall outside the normal range. There is so much that needs to be known in order to avoid the problems of toxicity inherent in the particular digitalis preparation that it is probably unrealistic to expect patients to remember all that they are told about taking the medication safely. Therefore it is best to give the patient the information in written form and go over the instructions with the patient and a member of the family in order to be sure that the instructions are understood.

Digitalis

(dij'i-tal'is, -ta'lis),
A genus of perennial flowering plants of the family Schrophulariaceae. Digitalis lanata, a European species, and Digitalis purpurea, purple foxglove, are the main sources of cardioactive steroid glycosides used in the treatment of certain heart diseases, especially congestive heart failure; also used to treat tachyarrhythmias of atrial origin.
Synonym(s): foxglove
[L. digitalis, relating to the fingers; in allusion to the fingerlike flowers]

digitalis

(dĭj′ĭ-tăl′ĭs)
n.
1. See foxglove.
2. A drug prepared from the dried leaves of Digitalis purpurea, used as a cardiac stimulant.

digitalis

Homeopathy
A minor homeopathic remedy that is used for heart failure, bradycardia, weakness, nausea evoked by food and hepatitis.

digitalis

Cardiology A cardiac glycoside first found in foxglove, Digitalis purpurea, now of historic interest; the synthetic derivatives, digoxin and digitoxin are the most popular of the cardiac glycosides

Di·gi·ta·lis

(dij'i-tā'lis)
A perennial flowering plant that is the main source for some cardioactive steroid glycosides useful in therapy for coronary heart failure and other cardiac disease.
Synonym(s): foxglove.
[L. digitalis, relating to the fingers; in allusion to the fingerlike flowers]

digitalis

A drug used in the treatment of HEART FAILURE. It increases the force of contraction and produces a slower, more regular pulse. The drug is derived from the purple foxglove Digitalis purpurea and is usually given in the form of DIGOXIN.

Digitalis

A naturally occuring compound used in the preparation of the medication, digoxin, prescribed to increase the heart rate and strengthen the force of the heart's contractions.

Dig·i·tal·is

(diji-talis, -tālis)
A genus of perennial flowering plants; D. lanata, a European species, and D. purpurea, purple foxglove, are the main sources of cardioactive steroid glycosides used to treat some heart diseases, especially congestive heart failure.
[L. digitalis, relating to the fingers; in allusion to the fingerlike flowers]
References in periodicals archive ?
En consecuencia, varios metodos de cultivo in vitro de Digitalis spp.
Patients with impaired renal function should have their loading and maintenance doses decreased to prevent digitalis toxicity (Kee et al., 2012).
Practitioners need to be aware that hawthorn can enhance digitalis activity and interact with beta-blockers, class III antiarrhythmics, and other cardioactive herbs.
The artist was known to suffer from psychotic fits, which at the time were characterized as "epilepsy." Treatment often involved the use of digitalis, the heart remedy discovered by the Englishman, William Withering.
Se reportan diferencias en el comportamiento de forrajeo de tres especies de abejorros en flores de Digitalis purpurea (Scrophulariaceae).
Using unique hardware and software designed in interdisciplinary collaboration with Experimental Nuclear Physics, Solid State Physics, and Medical Chemistry groups, it had been studied the transfer of Cs-137 from contaminated medical raw materials such as Digitalis grandiflora and Convallaria majalis to medicines.
David Zeltser and his associates at Tel Aviv University reviewed the records of all 169 consecutive patients at their institution who were admitted during 1999-2003 with second- or third-degree AV block that was not related to acute MI, vasovagal syncope, digitalis toxicity, or radiofrequency ablation.
For example, antihypertensive/cardiac drugs, such as calcium channel blockers, beta blockers, digitalis, and the cardiac glycosides, can cause depression yet may never be considered for this.
For example, digitalis was grown in many gardens in the eighteenth century and still is.
The man who coined the term, a 16th-century Bavarian physician and botanist named Leonard Fuchs, noted that the term "digitalis" is the adjectival form of the Latin word for finger.
The Digitarium Alpha from Digitalis Education Solutions (www.digitaliseducation.com) is a digital planetarium projector designed for portable domes that makes exploring the solar system an affordable feat.