UK study: Old, perhaps obsolete heart drug increases deaths in patients with atrial fibrillation

A drug widely used against heart disease can increase the possibility of death when used by patients with atrial fibrillation, a common heart rhythm problem, according to a study by University of Kentucky researchers. Digoxin, a derivative of the foxglove plant, is an old yet controversial heart drug. Though considered obsolete by some, it is still widely used.

The study, published in European Heart Journal, analyzed data from 4,060 atrial-fibrillation patients. It was led by Dr. Samy Claude Elayi, associate professor of medicine at UK HealthCare’s Gill Heart Institute. The results of the study indicate that further review by the Food and Drug Administration is warranted to determine if stronger warnings about its use should be required. (Read more)

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