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Choice of digitalis drugs


Digitalis and its glycosides have qualitatively similar effects on the heart, but there are differences in absorption, rapidity of onset, and duration of effect. The principal preparations are: whole digitalis leaf (prepared digitalis BP), digoxin BP (Lanoxin - BW & Co) and digitoxin (Crystodigin - Lilly; Digitaline Nativelle - Wilcox Jozeau). For emergency rapid digitalization ouabain (strophanthin-G) and deslanoside (Cedilanid injection - Sandoz) are available. Inquiries received by the Medical Letter indicate a good deal of uncertainty among physicians in making a choice among these preparations.

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