A new study which analyzed results from the AFFIRM trial has found that digoxin use in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) increases patient all-cause mortality rates.

This study was conducted with researchers doing a propensity-adjusted analysis of the AFFIRM trial, which was published online November 27, 2012 in the European Heart Journal. That trial discovered that there was a 41 percent increase in deaths in AF patients who were taking digoxin when compared to the patients who weren’t taking the drug. The study’s senior author, Dr. Claude Elayi (University of Kentucky, Lexington) told heartwire that digoxin use was already linked to AF patient deaths, but that so far it is not known if this is because it was given to the sicker patients. The DIG trial resulted in the same thing, but to a lesser degree in patients that took high doses of digoxin. For now, the drug is still viewed as a good treatment for heart failure in general.

“We would really like to see a similar randomized trial of digoxin in AF patients, but it is unlikely to ever be done, so we have tried to get the information from a large existing study, correcting the data for biases with complex statistical models,” Elayi stated. “And the magnitude of the effect seen is so high — an increase in mortality of 41 percent in patients on digoxin — that even if we haven’t corrected for some of the biases, I don’t think it would account for the results we saw.”

With this in mind, it may turn out that digoxin is no safer to use than Multaq, which is an anticoagulant treatment for AF. Multaq is likely to be removed from the shelves now that the drug has been linked to deadly side effects like liver failure, worsening of the heart condition, lung disease and pulmonary toxicity.

If you or a loved one has suffered from liver failure, a worsening of the heart condition, lung disease or pulmonary toxicity after taking Multaq, contact attorney Greg Jones for a free consultation today. I am experienced at fighting Multaq lawsuits and may be able to help you recover money for your injuries.