DIGIFab is indicated for the treatment of patients with life-threatening or potentially life-threatening digoxin toxicity or overdose, including:
Suicidal ingestion may result from more than one drug. Consider toxic effects of other drugs or poisons in cases where signs and symptoms of digitalis toxicity are not relieved by administration of DIGIFab.
Rapid drop in serum potassium concentration may occur after treatment. Monitor frequently.
Patients with poor cardiac function may deteriorate secondary to the withdrawal of the inotropic action of digoxin by DIGIFab. Monitor frequently and provide additional inotropic support if needed. Postpone re-digitalization, if possible, until the Fab fragments have been eliminated; this may require several days or a week or longer in patients with impaired renal function.
Anaphylaxis and hypersensitivity reactions are possible. Carefully monitor patients for signs and symptoms of an acute allergic reaction and if one occurs, stop the infusion and treat immediately with appropriate emergency medical care.
Patients with known allergies to sheep protein or those who have previously received intact ovine antibodies or Fab are particularly at risk for an anaphylactic reaction.
Do not administer DIGIFab to patients with a known history of hypersensitivity to papaya or papain unless the benefits outweigh the risks and appropriate management for anaphylactic reactions is readily available.
The elimination half-life of DIGIFab in renal failure has not been clearly defined. Monitor patients with severe renal failure who receive DIGIFab for a prolonged period for possible recurrence of toxicity. Monitoring of free (unbound) digoxin concentrations after the administration may be appropriate.
DIGIFab may interfere with digitalis immunoassay measurements. Thus, standard serum digoxin concentration measurements may be clinically misleading until the Fab fragments are eliminated from the body. This may take several days or a week or more in patients with markedly impaired renal function. If possible, obtain serum digoxin samples before DIGIFab administration to establish the level of serum digoxin at the time of diagnosis.
The total serum digoxin concentration may rise precipitously following administration of DIGIFab, but this will be almost entirely bound to the Fab fragment and not able to react with receptors in the body.
The most common adverse reactions (>7%) related to DIGIFab administration are worsening congestive heart failure (13%), hypokalemia (13%) and worsening atrial fibrillation (7%).
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