Digitalis toxicity is a serious complication of medications containing digitalis, a drug derived from the foxglove plant. Some of the medications that contain digitalis, and thus pose a risk of digitalis toxicity, include Digitek, Lanoxin, Lanoxicaps, digoxin and digitoxin. Digitalis toxicity can be caused by high levels of digitalis in the body from a single digitalis overdose or chronic digitalis overmedication. Digitalis toxicity can also occur in patients with “normal” digitalis blood levels where other risk factors are present.

Digitalis Toxicity Risk Factors

Low levels of potassium in the body increase the risk of digitalis toxicity and many diuretics (drugs used to remove excess fluid from the body) cause potassium loss. Consequently, diuretics, when taken with medications containing digitalis, are a risk factor for digitalis toxicity. Any disorders that disrupt kidney functioning, including dehydration, also increase the risk of digitalis toxicity, because reduced kidney function causes digitalis to accumulate in the body rather than being excreted normally through urine. Other risk factors for digitalis toxicity include:

  • low magnesium levels
  • taking medications that interact with digitalis such as quinidine, verapamil, amiodarone, and others

Symptoms of Digitalis Toxicity

Because digitalis toxicity can be life-threatening, patients who display symptoms of digitalis toxicity should seek medical attention right away. Symptoms of digitalis toxicity include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • visual disturbances (i.e., seeing halos, bright spots, or changes in color)
  • confusion
  • loss of appetite
  • low blood pressure
  • irregular pulse
  • heart palpitations
  • bradycardia (lowered heart rate)

Digitalis Toxicity Attorney

On April 25, 2008, a recall was issued for all Digitek tablets distributed by Mylan Pharmaceuticals and sold under the labels “Bertek” and “UDL.” According to Digitek’s maker, a manufacturing defect may have caused Digitek tablets with a double-dose of digitalis to be released to the public. Double-strength Digitek tablets pose a serious risk of digitalis toxicity, especially in patients suffering from renal failure.  

If you or a loved one has taken Digitek and experienced a serious side effect, such as digitalis toxicity, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.  

Contact our digitalis toxicity lawyers today for a free and confidential case evaluation.

Regulating Elements in the Body – Balancing Zinc and Copper

Potassium is one of the essential elements in the body for normal function.  For example, the body also needs zinc and copper to function properly.  Too much zinc, however, can result in low copper, which can cause copper deficiency, blood disorders and neurological damage to the body.  A number of denture cream lawsuits, including Fixodent lawsuits and Poligrip lawsuits, by denture cream lawyers have been brought against the manufacturers of Fixodent and SuperPoligrip alleging that denture cream resulted in zinc toxicity and damage to the patients.   Contact a denture cream lawyer at Bernstein Liebhard LLP today for a free and confidential denture cream lawsuit evaluation.

Published November 17, 2011 by