Digoxin is a cardiac glycoside extracted from the foxglove plant, digitalis. It is widely used in the treatment of various heart conditions, and has two distinct actions on the heart.
Digoxin inhibits the Na+-K+ ATPase pump in the membranes of the heart cells (myocytes). This causes an increase in the level of sodium ions in the myocytes, which then leads to a rise in the level of calcium ions. This increased level of calcium increases the contractility of the myocardium (muscle of the heart).
Digoxin also decreases the conduction of electrical impulses through the AV node, making it a commonly used drug in controlling the heart rate during atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter.
Its use in congestive heart failure during sinus rhythm is controversial.
Some physical properties of digoxin are water solubility of 64.8mg/L at 25°C and melting point at 249°C.
Note: This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Digoxin".