Difference between digoxin and metoprolol

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Digoxin and metoprolol are two commonly prescribed medications used to treat heart conditions, but they work in different ways.

Digoxin is a type of medication called a cardiac glycoside, which helps the heart beat more strongly and with a more regular rhythm. It is often used to treat heart failure and certain types of irregular heartbeats.

Metoprolol, on the other hand, is a beta-blocker that helps to slow the heart rate and decrease the workload on the heart. It is commonly used to treat high blood pressure, angina, and heart failure.

While both medications can be beneficial for heart conditions, it’s important to talk to your doctor to determine which medication is right for you based on your specific condition and medical history.

Indications and uses

Indications and uses

Digoxin is a medication that belongs to a class of drugs known as cardiac glycosides. It works by increasing the force of contraction of the heart muscle and slowing down the heart rate. Digoxin is commonly used to treat heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms such as atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter.

Heart Failure:

Heart Failure:

Digoxin is indicated for the treatment of heart failure, a condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. It helps to improve the symptoms of heart failure, such as shortness of breath, swelling in the legs, and fatigue.

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Abnormal Heart Rhythms:

Digoxin is also used to control the heart rate in patients with atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter, which are irregular heart rhythms that can lead to palpitations, dizziness, and chest pain. By slowing down the heart rate, digoxin can help to reduce the symptoms associated with these conditions.

Indication Use
Heart failure Treatment of symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, and swelling
Abnormal heart rhythms Control of heart rate in atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter

Side Effects and Contraindications

Although digoxin and metoprolol are both commonly prescribed medications, they can have different side effects and contraindications.

Side effects of digoxin may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Confusion
  • Visual disturbances
  • Irregular heart rhythm

Contraindications for digoxin include:

  • Hypersensitivity to digoxin
  • Ventricular fibrillation
  • Heart block
  • Acute myocardial infarction

On the other hand, side effects of metoprolol may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Bradycardia
  • Cold extremities

Contraindications for metoprolol include:

  • Heart failure
  • Heart block
  • Cardiogenic shock
  • Severe bradycardia

Side effects and contraindications

It is important to be aware of the potential side effects and contraindications of Digoxin and Metoprolol to ensure safe and effective use:


Side effects: Common side effects of Digoxin include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and headache. Serious side effects may include arrhythmias and visual disturbances.

Contraindications: Digoxin is contraindicated in patients with ventricular fibrillation, hypersensitivity to the drug, and certain types of heart block.


Side effects: Common side effects of Metoprolol include fatigue, dizziness, and bradycardia. Serious side effects may include heart failure exacerbation and bronchospasm.

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Contraindications: Metoprolol is contraindicated in patients with sinus bradycardia, heart block greater than first degree, and decompensated heart failure.

Dosage and administration

The dosage and administration of digoxin and metoprolol vary depending on the condition being treated, the patient’s age, weight, and medical history. It is crucial to follow the prescribing physician’s instructions and dosage recommendations. Below is a general guideline for the dosages of these medications:


Indication Dosage
Heart Failure 0.125-0.25 mg once daily
Atrial Fibrillation 0.125-0.25 mg once daily

Digoxin is usually dosed based on the patient’s kidney function, age, and overall health status. It is important not to exceed the prescribed dose to avoid toxic effects.


Indication Dosage
Hypertension 25-100 mg once or twice daily
Angina Pectoris 50-100 mg once or twice daily

Metoprolol is often initiated at a low dose and gradually increased to achieve optimal blood pressure or heart rate control. The dosage may need to be adjusted based on the individual patient’s response to the medication.

Interactions with other drugs

When taking either digoxin or metoprolol, it is important to be aware of potential interactions with other medications. Both drugs can interact with a variety of different medications, including:

  • Antacids: Antacids containing aluminum or magnesium can decrease the absorption of both digoxin and metoprolol, reducing their effectiveness.
  • Calcium channel blockers: Co-administration of digoxin or metoprolol with calcium channel blockers can increase the risk of heart rhythm disturbances.
  • Diuretics: Diuretics can lead to electrolyte imbalances, which can affect the action of digoxin and metoprolol.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): NSAIDs can reduce the effectiveness of digoxin and metoprolol and increase the risk of side effects.
  • Beta-blockers: Using metoprolol with other beta-blockers can lead to additive effects on heart rate and blood pressure.
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It is important to inform your healthcare provider about all medications you are taking, including over-the-counter medications and supplements, to avoid potential interactions that can impact the safety and effectiveness of digoxin and metoprolol.