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All about: Antivenin, Tiger Snake

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Some commonly used names are antivenin (Notechis scutatus) and tiger snake antivenom .

*† Not commercially available in the U.S. and Canada.

Description

Tiger snake antivenin belongs to a group of medicines known as antivenins. It is used for the treatment of symptoms caused by the bites of poisonous Australian tiger snakes.

Tiger snake antivenin is to be used only by or under the supervision of a doctor. It is available in the following dosage form:

  • Parenteral
  • Injection (Australia)

Before Receiving This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of receiving the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For tiger snake antivenin, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to tiger snake antivenin, to horses, or to any products of horse origin, such as horse serum. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as preservatives.

Pregnancy—Studies on effects in pregnancy have not been done in either humans or animals. However, snake venoms may cause a miscarriage.

Breast-feeding—Tiger snake antivenin has not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.

Children—Children may require larger doses of tiger snake antivenin because of the greater amount of venom per kilogram of body weight. However, tiger snake antivenin is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in children than it does in adults.

Older adults—Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of tiger snake antivenin in the elderly with use in other age groups.

Proper Use of This Medicine

Dosing—The dose of tiger snake antivenin will be different for different patients. The dose you receive will depend on the severity of your condition. The following information includes only the average doses of tiger snake antivenin.

  • For injection dosage form:
    • For tiger snake envenomation:
      • Adults, teenagers, and children—A minimum of 9 milliliters (mL) injected slowly into a vein.

Storage—To store this medicine:

  • Store in refrigerator at all times . However, keep the medicine from freezing.

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

Difficulty in breathing and swallowing; hives; itching, especially of feet or hands; reddening of skin, especially around ears; swelling of eyes, face, or inside of nose; unusual tiredness or weakness, sudden and severe

Approximately 7 to 14 days after you stop receiving tiger snake antivenin, you may develop symptoms of serum sickness. The severity of the symptoms and the length of time the sickness lasts depends on the amount of tiger snake antivenin you received and how long you received it. Check with your doctor if you notice any of the following side effects:

Fever; redness of joints; skin rash and itching; swollen glands

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Revised: 04/29/1997

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