Keywords: digoxin, digoxin-specific antibody fragments, digoxin-Fab (PubMed Search)
Posted: 9/9/2014 by Bryan Hayes, PharmD
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Digoxin-specific antibody fragments (Fab) are safe and indicated in all patients with life-threatening dysrhythmias and an elevated digoxin concentration. However, full neutralizing doses of digoxin-Fab are expensive and may not be required (not to mention cumbersome to calculate).
Based on pharmacokinetic modeling and published data, a new review suggests a simpler, more stream-lined dosing scheme as follows:
In imminent cardiac arrest, it may be justified to give a full neutralizing dose of digoxin-Fab.
In acute poisoning, a bolus of 80 mg (2 vials), repeat if necessary, titrated against clinical effect, is likely to achieve equivalent benefits with much lower total doses.
With chronic poisoning, it may be simplest to give 40 mg (1 vial) at a time and repeat after 60 min if there is no response.
Chan BS, et al. Digoxin-specific antibody fragments in the treatment of digoxin toxicity. Clin Toxicol 2014;52:824-36. [PMID 25089630]
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