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HAND OUT PRESENTATION CARDIAC MEDICATIONS: CARDIAC GLYCOSIDES This group of drugs inhibits the sodium-potassium pump, which results in an increase in intracellular sodium. This increase leads to an influx of calcium, which causes the cardiac muscle fibers to contract more efficiently. It increases myocardial contraction stroke volume. It decreases heart rate and decreases conduction of heart cells. The increase in myocardial contractility strengthens cardiac, peripheral and kidney function by enhancing cardiac output, decreasing preload, improving blood to the periphery and kidneys, decreasing edema and promoting fluid excretion. Cardiac glycosides do not prolong life, rather it acts by increasing the force and velocity of myocardial systolic contraction. Cardiac glycosides are used to treat Heart failure, atrial fibrillation, cardiac dysrhythmia and rapid uncoordinated contractions of atrial myocardium and atrial flutter.
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