Digoxin Fading Away for Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation

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After a pause and thanks to Kuno’s attentiveness following article found it’s way to our website: Although not being very popular in the world of intensive care Digoxin remained a component of our armament and was continued to be used for patients with atrial fibrillation.

After its long era in medicine findings of the TREAT-AF are now about to bring this to a possible end.
Turakhia et al. looked at over 122’000 patients with newly diagnosed, non valvular AF in the U.S. between 2004 to 2008. They specifically looked at the use of Digoxin and the occurrence of death. Residual confounding was assessed by sensitivity analysis. They found a cumulative higher mortality rate for patients treated with Digoxin, which persisted after multivariate adjustment, propensity matching and adjustment for drug adherence.

The findings of this study are impressive and even led Harlan Krumholz, editor-in-chief of NEJM Journal Watch Cardiology, to the statement: ‘It’s time to pause on Digoxin until studies can assure that it’s providing a net benefit to these patients’.

Turakhia et al. JACC, Aug 19 2014; Volume 64, Issue 7

NEJM Journal Watch Cardiology

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