digitalis

/dij'i tal"is, -tay"lis/, n.
1. any plant belonging to the genus Digitalis, of the figwort family, esp. the common foxglove, D. purpurea.
2. the dried leaves of the foxglove, Digitalis purpurea, used in medicine as a heart stimulant.
[1655-65; < NL digitalis, a name appar. suggested by the G name for the foxglove, Fingerhut lit., thimble; see DIGITAL]

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Drug derived from leaves of the common foxglove and used as a drug that strengthens heart muscle contraction.

It was first prescribed in the 18th century. Its active principles belong to a class of steroids called cardiac glycosides. Their dosage must be carefully monitored because the lethal dose may be only three times the effective dose. Digitoxin and digoxin are among the most commonly prescribed forms of digitalis.

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drug
      drug obtained from the dried leaves of the common foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) and used in medicine to strengthen contractions of the heart muscle. Belonging to a group of drugs called cardiac glycosides, digitalis is most commonly used to restore adequate circulation in patients with congestive heart failure, particularly as caused by atherosclerosis or hypertension. The drug is also used to slow the rate of ventricular contraction in patients with atrial fibrillation or flutter. Digitalis directly increases the contractile power of the heart muscle, enabling a disease-weakened heart to keep up with the body's demand for heart action. Other effects of digitalis include a slowing of the heartbeat, an increase in the heart's output, and a decrease in the size of the heart. Digitoxin and digoxin are among the most commonly prescribed forms of digitalis. Treatment with either of these drugs must involve careful monitoring to avoid adverse effects (e.g., heart palpitations, anorexia, vomiting, and diarrhea) that may result from their accumulation in the body.

      Digitalis was first prescribed by English physician and botanist William Withering (1741–99), who used it in the treatment of edema (dropsy). In An Account of the Foxglove, and Some of Its Medical Uses (1785), he summarized the results of his extensive studies of the drug and described the symptoms of digitalis toxicity.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Digitalis — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda ? Digitalis Digitalis ciliata Clasificación cientí …   Wikipedia Español

  • digitalis — [dij΄i tal′is; ] also [, dij′itā′lis] n. [ModL, foxglove < L digitalis, belonging to the finger < digitus, a finger, DIGIT: so named (1542) by L. Fuchs (see FUCHSIA), from its thimblelike flowers, after the Ger name fingerhut, thimble] 1.… …   English World dictionary

  • Digitalis — Dig i*ta lis, n. [NL.: cf. F. digitale. So named (according to Linn[ae]us) from its finger shaped corolla.] 1. (Bot.) A genus of plants of the family {Schrophulariaceae}, including the foxglove. [1913 Webster] 2. (Med.) The dried leaves of the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Digitalis — steht für die Pflanzengattung Digitalis, s. Fingerhüte als Kurzform für die als Medikament verwendeten Herzglykoside Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit demselben Wort bezeichneter Begriffe …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • digitalis — digitális m DEFINICIJA bot., v. pustikara ETIMOLOGIJA nlat. digitalis, prema njemačkom imenu biljke Fingerhut: naprstak …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • digitalis — ► NOUN ▪ a drug prepared from foxglove leaves, containing substances that stimulate the heart muscle. ORIGIN from the Latin genus name of the foxglove, from digitalis herba plant relating to the finger (with reference to the shape of the flowers) …   English terms dictionary

  • Digitālis — (D. L.), Pflanzengattung aus der Familie der Scrophularineae Digitaleae, 2. Ordn. 14. Kl. L., mit fünftheiligem Kelche, glockiger Blumenkrone mit schiefem vierspaltigem Saume, der obere Lappen ausgerandet, vier zweimächtigen Staubgefäßen, im… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Digitālis — L. (Fingerhut), Gattung der Skrofulariazeen, zwei oder mehrjährige, kahle oder behaarte Kräuter, seltener Halbsträucher oder Sträucher mit abwechselnden, einfachen, am Grunde meist gehäuften Blättern, einseitigen, endständigen Blütentrauben,… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Digitalis — Digitālis, Pflanzengattg., s. Fingerhut. – Digitalīn, einer der wirksamen Bestandteile (Glykoside) des Fingerhuts, bewirkt Erbrechen, Schwindel und Krämpfe; wird in geringen Dosen bei Herzkrankheiten gegeben …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Digitalis — Digitalis, Fingerhut, durch D. purpurea, rother F., sehr bekannte Pflanzengattung aus der Familie der Scrophularinae, mit mehrern schönblumigen Arten; wichtig wegen D. purpurea, der unter die bedeutenderen Giftpflanzen gehört, ein betäubend… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • digitalis — 1660s, Mod.L. translation of Ger. fingerhut, the German name of foxglove, lit. thimble. Named by Fuchs (1542), and so called for its shape. The medicine (originally extracted from the plant) is so called from 1799 …   Etymology dictionary

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