Digoxin Therapy in the Elderly: Pharmacokinetic Considerations in Nursing

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Digoxin is effective in controlling ventricular rhythm in atrial fibrillation and is used in heart failure when angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and diuretics are ineffective. Because use of more than 1 drug is often required with these conditions, pharmacokinetic considerations, including those related to complementary medicine, are important. Increased awareness of drug action in the elderly is important because there is often an increase in body fat and leaner muscle mass as well as changes in organ function, such as that of the kidney, which alters drug activity. Nurses have an important role to play in the safe administration of digoxin.

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