Pharmacology Anticoagulants #5

Question

Which condition is most often treated with both digoxin and warfarin?

Answers

  1. Ventricular fibrillation
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because ventricular fibrillation is not treated with digoxin or warfarin. The client is treated with immediate defibrillation due to the fact that ventricular fibrillation is a deadly arrhythmia.

  2. Supraventricular tachycardia
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because warfarin, an anticoagulant, is not prescribed for supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). Adenosine is often used for SVT, but digoxin could be prescribed.

  3. Atrial fibrillation
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because atrial fibrillation is treated with an antidysrhythmic medication, such as digoxin. Furthermore, due to the lack of adequate and effective contraction of the atria of the heart, the client is at a great risk of clots that travel to the lungs or pulmonary emboli.

  4. Sinus tachycardia
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because warfarin, an anticoagulant, is not prescribed for sinus tachycardia. Extreme tachycardia, (i.e., supraventricular tachycardia) could be treated with digoxin if other medications, such as adenosine or beta blockers, are not effective.

Overview

Atrial fibrillation is a dysrhythmia that has uncoordinated contraction of the upper chambers of the heart (atrium) with the lower chambers (ventricles). Digoxin is used to convert dysrhythmia of the heart and warfarin is administered to decrease the risk of pulmonary embolism.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Atrial fibrillation is a dysthymic condition of the heart which may have no symptoms to severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath and palpitations. Digoxin is a medication used as an antidysrhythmic medication in atrial fibrillation. Warfarin is administered to decrease the risk of clotting associated with this dysrhythmia. Both are utilized to produce the best results for the client with atrial fibrillation. Client teaching with these medications is imperative to reduce toxicity and side effects associated with these medications.

Test Taking Tip

It is important to know the major deadly arrhythmias and those that can be treated effectively without defibrillation. This will help begin to determine effective priority treatment.

Video Rationale