A drug prepared from the dried leaves of foxglove and containing substances (notably digoxin and digitoxin) that stimulate the heart muscle.‘According to the authors, the concomitant intake of those two drugs induced a drop in potassium following a diuretic induced decrease in water retention, which led to an increase in sensitivity of heart muscle to digitalis.’
- ‘In reality, more than 30% of conventional medications come from common plant sources (eg, digitalis from foxglove, vincristine from periwinkle).’
- ‘Specific classes of medications used to control and slow the heart rate include digitalis, beta blockers, and calcium channel blockers.’
- ‘One-year mortality was reduced regardless of gender, presence of diabetes mellitus or heart failure, or treatment with diuretics, digitalis, beta blockers or anticoagulants.’
- ‘The effects of the medication can be inhibited by tricyclic antidepressants and digitalis.’
Early 17th century (denoting the foxglove): from the modern Latin genus name, from digitalis (herba) ‘(plant) relating to the finger’, from digitus ‘finger, toe’; suggested by German Fingerhut ‘thimble or foxglove’, with reference to the shape of the flowers. The sense ‘medicinal preparation from foxglove’ dates from the late 18th century.