What is the mechanism of increasing digoxin toxicity in hypokalemia? - USMLE Forums
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Old 10-15-2011
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Heart What is the mechanism of increasing digoxin toxicity in hypokalemia?

What is the mechanism of increasing digoxin toxicity in hypokalemia?
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Old 10-15-2011
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Digoxin inhibit the K Na ATPase in the cardiac cell.

The K Na ATPase works on pulling K into the cardiac cell and pushing Na out of the cell. Therefore Digoxin decreases K inside the cell and increases Na inside the cell.

Potassium therefore competes with Digoxin for binding at the K Na ATPase at the cardiac cell membrane.

Therefore, if you have less Potassium in the extracellular space (Hypokalemia), you have less competition with Digoxin and therefore potentiated Digoxin action.
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Cardiovascular-, Pharmacology-, Physiology-

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