HealthDay News — About one in five patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) receives digoxin, with the indication for use considered inappropriate in nearly 60%, according to a study published online September 27 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics.

Murat Bitekar, MD, from Mugla Sitki Kocman University in Turkey, and colleagues analyzed data from 6,200 patients with NVAF from the Real-Life Multicentre Survey Evaluating Stroke Prevention Strategies in Turkey study to examine the prevalence, indications, and appropriateness of digoxin use. 

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The researchers found that 20.5% of patients used digoxin. Patients using digoxin were older, more likely to be female, and more frequently had comorbidities such as heart failure, diabetes, coronary artery disease, and persistent/permanent AF. The indication for digoxin use was considered inappropriate in 59.8% of the 1,274 patients.

“Our findings show that nearly one-fifth of the patients with NVAF were on digoxin therapy and nearly 60% of these patients were receiving digoxin with inappropriate indications in a real-world setting,” the authors write.

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