What is antidote made of

Antivenin

Synonyms: antiserum, counter-serum, "antidote"
English: antivenom, antivenin

1 definition

A Antivenin is an immune serum that is specially used to treat intoxication caused by snake venom. In some cases, immune sera for the treatment of other poisonings (e.g. by scorpions) are also referred to as antivenins.

2 effect

The effective component of an antivenin is its antibodies. These are able to neutralize the toxic substances of the animal poison secretions and thus render them harmless. A distinction is made between polyvalent (effective against the toxins of several species of snakes) and monovalent (specifically effective against the toxin of one species) antivenins.

3 Manufacturing

To obtain antivenins, donor animals (usually horses or goats) are given certain non-lethal doses of snake venom (corresponds to the antigen) in order to stimulate their immune system to produce antibodies or immunoglobulins. The blood is then taken and processed. First of all, the so-called native serum is created, which still has a high proportion of foreign, undesired proteins (high antigen potential, high sensitization potential). In newer methods, the native serum is processed further, accompanying proteins are separated and globulins are broken down by fermentation. The result is a fermentatively purified serum with low sensitization potential.

The snake toxin required for the production of immune serum usually comes from snake farms where the poison is extracted, known as milking.

4 complications

Antivenins themselves have a certain potential for danger. Possible complications are:

Therefore, the drug should be tested prior to therapeutic application. This is done by subcutaneous administration of a 1:10 diluted Antivenin solution.

The use of Antivenins should be clarified with a poison information center and only carried out after the benefit-risk assessment has been carried out.

5 information

Information on current stocks and emergency depots with antivenins in Germany can be obtained from Serum-Depot Berlin eV (see http://serumdepot.de/), in Switzerland from Serum-Depot Schweiz eV (http://www.serumdepot.ch/) To give.

6 literature

  • Mutschler et al .: drug effects, textbook pharmacology & toxicology, WVG, 2001.