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PHARMACOKINETICS:

-T1/2 is long (40 hrs) -Therapeutic plasma concentration: 0.5-2 ng/ml -Toxic plasma concentration: >2 ng/ml

*digitalis must be present in the body in certain "saturating" amount   before any effect on congestive failure is noted

this is achieved by giving a large initial dose in a process called "digitalization"

-after intial dosages, digitalis is given in "maintenance" amounts sufficient to replace that which is excreted

to avoid exceeding therapeutic range during digitalization: - the loading dose should be adjusted according to the health of the patient - slow digitalization (over 1 week) is the safest technique - plasma digoxin levels should be monitored

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