Prognostic impact of digoxin use for rate control of atrial fibrillation in patients ≥75 years of age

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Maria Teresa La Rovere *
Egidio Traversi
(*) Corresponding Author:
Maria Teresa La Rovere | mariateresa.larovere@icsmaugeri.it

Abstract

Digoxin use remains a common therapeutic option in the pharmacological control of heart rate in patients with atrial fibrillation, endorsed in current guidelines with the same level of evidence than beta-blockers in patients with and without heart failure. Digoxin has a narrow therapeutic range and is influenced by drug‐to‐drug interactions, serum electrolyte concentrations, and renal function. Conflicting data exist regarding adverse outcomes that are associated with digoxin use in patients with atrial fibrillation. It remains unclear whether the association between digoxin use and worse clinical outcome is causal or may be the result of confounding by differences in the characteristics of patents including age, comorbidities and treatment. Particularly in older patients with atrial fibrillation, who are frequently prescribed a multitude of agents for stroke prevention, treatment of cardiovascular disease and other comorbidities, use of digoxin should be cautious and instituted with assessment of drug concentrations.


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