Research Article

Use of digitalis in general practice. Liverpool Therapeutics Group.

Br Med J 1978; 2 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.2.6138.673 (Published 02 September 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;2:673

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Abstract

A study, which arose out of a general-practitioner teaching programme in clinical pharmacology, was designed to assess the use of digitalis in 391 patients in general practice. Clinical, biochemical, and pharmacological data were used to assess whether digitalis treatment should be discontinued (89 patients; 22.8%); the dose kept unchanged (47; 12%); or the dose increased (47; 12%) or decreased (24; 6.1%). Serum concentrations of cardiac glycoside were below a defined therapeutic range in 159 patients (40.7%), above this range in 37 (9.7%), and within the range in 195 (49.3%). Studies of this kind may help to promote a more critical attitude to prescribing widely used drugs such as digitalis.