Furosemide and digoxin inhibit thiamine uptake in cardiac cells

Abraham Zangen, Dror Botzer, Rachel Zangen, Asher Shainberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Heart cells in culture were used to clarify whether furosemide or digoxin cause thiamine deficiency and if so, by what mechanism. The intracellular level of thiamine pyrophosphate gradually decreased, with a half-life of 16-19 days, after treatment of cardiac cells with furosemide or digoxin. When thiamine was excluded from the growth medium, thiamine pyrophosphate levels gradually decreased, with a half-life of 5-6 days. No additive effect was observed in the presence of the above drugs when thiamine was excluded from the medium. Thiamine uptake by cardiac cells grown in a thiamine-free medium for 7 days decreased significantly in the presence of furosemide or digoxin. The effect of furosemide or digoxin on thiamine uptake was found to be dose dependent. Co-administration of furosemide and digoxin to the cardiac cell cultures resulted in an additive effect on thiamine uptake. Our results demonstrate that furosemide and digoxin inhibit thiamine uptake by cardiac cells in culture and may therefore cause thiamine deficiency in patients undergoing chronic treatment with these drugs. Copyright (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-155
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 13 Nov 1998

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Thanks to A. Isaac and T. Zinman for their valuable assistance and to A. Goldreich for typing the manuscript. This research was supported by Grant 93-22 from the United States–Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) Jerusalem, Israel.


  • Cardiac cell
  • Digoxin
  • Furosemide
  • Thiamine


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