Digoxin pharmacokinetics: multicompartmental analysis and its clinical implications

Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1976 Apr;3(2):221-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.1976.tb00596.x.


The kinetics of digoxin have been investigated in healthy volunteers using an isotopic tracer technique. A three compartment open kinetic model has been proposed as the simplest model consistent with the plasma, urinary and faecal data obtained. The renal clearance of digoxin (mean +/- s.d.) was found to be 119+/-10 ml/min, which did not differ significantly from the glomerular filtration rate (110+/-14 ml/min). Digoxin extra-renal clearance (mean+/-s.d.) was found to be 47+/-7 ml/min. The model predicts that the tissue concentration attained after four 0.25 mg oral doses spread over 24 h can be achieved within a period of 4 h following a single oral loading dose of 1 mg. Maintenance doses can be derived from a simple formula based on the glomerular filtration rate, extra-renal clearance and bioavailability of the digoxin preparation used.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biological Availability
  • Digoxin / administration & dosage
  • Digoxin / metabolism*
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Models, Biological


  • Digoxin