"This book is incredibly complete and easy-to-understand for anybody. I certainly recommend it for patients who want to know more about atrial fibrillation than what they will learn from doctors...."

Pierre Jaïs, M.D. Professor of Cardiology, Haut-Lévêque Hospital, Bordeaux, France

"Dear Steve, I saw a patient this morning with your book [in hand] and highlights throughout. She loves it and finds it very useful to help her in dealing with atrial fibrillation."

Dr. Wilber Su Cavanaugh Heart Center, Phoenix, AZ

"Your book [Beat Your A-Fib] is the quintessential most important guide not only for the individual experiencing atrial fibrillation and his family, but also for primary physicians, and cardiologists."

Jane-Alexandra Krehbiel, nurse, blogger and author "Rational Preparedness: A Primer to Preparedness"


"Steve Ryan's summaries of the Boston A-Fib Symposium are terrific. Steve has the ability to synthesize and communicate accurately in clear and simple terms the essence of complex subjects. This is an exceptional skill and a great service to patients with atrial fibrillation."

Dr. Jeremy Ruskin of Mass. General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

"I love your [A-fib.com] website, Patti and Steve! An excellent resource for anybody seeking credible science on atrial fibrillation plus compelling real-life stories from others living with A-Fib. Congratulations…"

Carolyn Thomas, blogger and heart attack survivor; MyHeartSisters.org

"Steve, your website was so helpful. Thank you! After two ablations I am now A-fib free. You are a great help to a lot of people, keep up the good work."

Terry Traver, former A-Fib patient

"If you want to do some research on AF go to A-Fib.com by Steve Ryan, this site was a big help to me, and helped me be free of AF."

Roy Salmon Patient, A-Fib Free; pacemakerclub.com, Sept. 2013

Stay Away from Digoxin: 20% Increased Risk of Dying!

A study of elderly veterans newly diagnosed with A-Fib found those treated with digoxin, a rate control drug, had a more than a 20% increased risk of dying within about three years. Brand names are Digitek, Lanoxicaps, Lanoxin.

According to Dr. Mintu Turakhia (Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, CA), “digitalis can be fatal…Any emergency-room doctor, internal-medicine doctor, or cardiologist (knows) the signs and symptoms of ECG findings with digitalis (toxicity).”

More patients are hospitalized for adverse effects from digoxin than for any other cardiovascular medicine other than anticoagulants. “Physicians need to ask themselves if digoxin is the right treatment of choice when there are many other safer alternatives (for rate control).”

Dr. Turakhia points out that in the recently updated AF Treatment Guidelines, beta-blockers and calcium-channel blockers were given a class I recommendation for rate control, while digoxin received no specific recommendation at all.

digoxin labelAlso see Rate Control Drugs on our Treatments/Drug Therapies page.

Editor’s Comments:
Though this study only looked at elderly veterans, can we apply these results to other A-Fib patients? We probably should, at least until other research demonstrates otherwise. If digoxin harms elderly veterans, it’s likely it will harm us to some extent as well.
Question any doctor who wants to prescribe digoxin to you, or get a second opinion. Ask them why they want you to take digoxin as compared to the many other beta-blockers and calcium-channel blockers available for rate control.

(This study doesn’t address the merits of leaving someone in A-Fib but instead only on rate-control meds. Some consider this drug therapy a ‘death sentence’ and not a valid option for their A-Fib treatment.)

References for this Article


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