How Do Antivenins Work?

Reviewed on 7/15/2021

HOW DO ANTIVENINS WORK?

Antivenins are antibody products that bind to and neutralize the venom of snakes, scorpions, or black widow spiders. They also cause the venom to be released from the receptor site.

Venoms have a protein that blocks the channels on the cell surface, thus preventing the cells from sending signals to the brain for communication. For the cells to be active, the channels must remain open for the inflow and outflow of ions. Once the channels are blocked, the muscles fail to relax due to a lack of flow of ions.

Antivenins bind to the proteins in the venom to bring about a structural modification. This altered structure cannot bind to and block the channels on the cell. Antivenins cannot reverse the effects of the venom but can prevent its exacerbation.

HOW ARE ANTIVENINS USED?

Antivenins can neutralize the venom of poisonous insects and reptiles like:

  • Snakes
  • Black widow spiders
  • Scorpions

WHAT ARE SIDE EFFECTS OF ANTIVENINS?

Antivenins, when injected, can cause the following side effects:

The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.

QUESTION

About how much does an adult human brain weigh? See Answer

WHAT ARE NAMES OF ANTIVENINS?

Generic and brand names of antivenins include:

  • Anascorp
  • Anavip
  • Antivenin (Latrodectus mactans)
  • Antivenin (Micrurus fulvius)
  • Antivenin, black widow spider
  • Antivenin, centruroides (scorpion)
  • Antivenin, Eastern and Texas coral snakes
  • CroFab
  • Crotalidae immune FAB (equine)
  • Crotalidae polyvalent immune FAB (ovine)

References
https://reference.medscape.com/drugs/antivenins

https://askabiologist.asu.edu/venom/antivenom

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