1 What is Antivenin-Spider?

Brand: Antivenin-Spider, Antivenin

Generic: Antivenin

Antivenin-Spider is a sterile, nonpyrogenic preparation derived by drying a frozen solution of specific venom-neutralizing globulins obtained from the blood serum of healthy horses immunized against the venom of black widow spiders (Latrodectus mactans).

Antivenin (Latrodectus mactans) belongs to a group of medicines known as immunizing agents which are used to treat patients with symptoms due to bites by the black widow spider (Latrodectus mactans). Early use of the Antivenin is emphasized for prompt relief.

This antivenin is available in powder form which is later dissolved in sterile water to make a solution prior administration only by or under the immediate supervision of doctors.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Antivenin-Spider, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. The most suitable drug therapy is chosen by a doctor with the active participation of the patient.

There are some important factors such as drug interactions, the presence of any metabolic impairment, history of hypersensitivity reaction, pregnancy, lactation etc. that may alter the desired therapeutic effects of a medicine.

Sometimes the presence of other health disorders affects the beneficial effects of this medicine and even may cause serious toxic effects.

Make sure you mention your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Allergy to horse serum – should not be used in patients with this condition unless absolutely necessary.
  • Bronchial asthma – anaphylactic reactions and death have been reported in patients with a medical history of asthma.

In addition, it is always recommended to consult with your doctor if you are in need of some other medications or even any over-the-counter medicine for another health problem in order to avoid unwanted toxic effects which may take place because of drug interactions. Here, no known drug interactions are well documented.
Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with Black Widow Spider Antivenin. It is also not known whether Black Widow Spider antivenin can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity. Black Widow Spider antivenin should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.

3 Proper Usage

Proper usage of Antivenin-Spider requires strict adherence to your doctor’s orders. This medicinal product should be given by a nurse or other trained health professional under strict medical supervision of a doctor in a hospital setting, and patients should be carefully monitored during and after the administration.

Using a sterile syringe, 2.5 ml of sterile water is injected into the vial of antivenin. With the needle still in the rubber stopper, the vial is shaken to dissolve the contents completely. The dose for adults and children is the entire contents of a restored vial (2.5 ml) of antivenin.

It may be given intravenously (preferred) or intramuscularly in the region of the anterolateral thigh. Symptoms usually subside in 1 to 3 hours. Although one dose of antivenin usually is adequate, a second dose may be necessary in some cases.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Antivenin-Spider, there are some precautions you must take. Prior to treatment with any product prepared from horse serum, a careful review of the patient's history should be taken emphasizing prior exposure to horse serum or any allergies.

Serum sickness and even death could result from the use of horse serum in a sensitive patient. A skin or conjunctival test should be performed prior to administration of Antivenin. However, an anaphylactic reaction to antivenin may occur even following a negative skin or conjunctival test.

In addition, the following guidelines should be maintained:

Patients should be observed for serum sickness for an average of 8 to 12 days following administration of Antivenin.

If the history is positive or the results of the sensitivity tests are mildly or questionably positive, desensitization should be attempted only when the administration of antivenin is considered necessary to save a life.

Check with your doctor right away if you have a feeling of discomfort, very fast or irregular breathing, wheezing, fever, itching, muscle aches, rash, joint pain, puffiness or swellings of the eyelids during or after receiving the antivenin.

Appropriate tetanus prophylaxis is indicated since tetanus spores may be carried into the fang puncture wounds by dirt present on the skin at the time of the bite.

A broad-spectrum antibiotic inadequate dosage is indicated if local tissue damage is evident.

Corticosteroids should not be given simultaneously with Antivenin on a routine basis or during the acute state of envenomation; however, their use may be necessary to treat immediate allergic reactions to antivenin, and corticosteroids are the agents of choice for treating serious delayed reactions to antivenin.

However, parenteral drug products should be inspected visually for particulate matter prior to administration.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Antivenin-Spider. These side effects usually go away during the treatment episode as your body adjusts to the medicine.

Further, your healthcare professional may advise you about the ways how to prevent or reduce those unwanted side effects.

Sometimes you may need to consult with the doctor if you notice any of the following toxic effects, especially: