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Antivenin, North American Coral Snake (Systemic)
Some commonly used names in the U.S. are antivenin (Micrurus fulvius); North American coral snake antivenin.
North American coral snake antivenin belongs to a group of medicines known as immunizing agents. It is used for the treatment of poisoning caused by bites of North American coral snakes, such as the Eastern coral snake, the Texas coral snake, and some other related species of coral snakes.
North American coral snake antivenin is to be used only by or under the supervision of a doctor. It is available in the following dosage form:
Before Using This Medicine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of using the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For North American coral snake antivenin, the following should be considered:
Allergies- Tell your doctor if you have ever been bitten by a poisonous snake before and if you you have ever had an unusual or allergic reaction to North American coral 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. Before giving you this medicine, your doctor will do a skin test to see whether you are at risk of having a serious reaction to North American coral snake antivenin or to horse serum (contained in this medicine).
Diet- Make certain your health care professional knows if you are on any special diet, such as a low-sodium diet.
Pregnancy- Studies on effects in pregnancy have not been done in either humans or animals. However, poisoning by coral snakes may result in miscarriages.
Breast-feeding- North American coral snake antivenin, has not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.
Children- Studies show that children tolerate North American coral snake antivenin better than do adults. However, children typically have more severe reactions to snakebite poisoning because of the greater amount of poison per body weight. Therefore, children may require larger doses of North American coral snake antivenin than do 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. Although there is no specific information comparing use of North American coral snake antivenin in the elderly with use in other age groups, this medicine is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.
Proper Use of This Medicine
The dose of North American coral snake antivenin will be different for different patients. The dose you receive will depend on your body's reaction to the skin test and to North American coral snake antivenin, and to the severity of your snakebite.
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:
For up to 24 days after you have received North American coral snake antivenin, you may develop symptoms of a side effect called serum sickness. The severity of the symptoms and the length of the sickness depend on the amount of North American coral snake antivenin you were given and how long the treatment lasted. During this period of time check with your doctor if you notice any of the following side effects:
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT