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Research on the Risk-benefits of Antivenom for Snakebites in India is a Necessity

by Julia Samuel on May 9, 2015 at 1:04 PM
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Research on the Risk-benefits of Antivenom for Snakebites in India is a Necessity

Antivenoms are used as treatment for snakebites or stings. Though the treatment is used widely, there has not been a single comprehensive study on the risk-benefits of anti-venom being given to people for snakebites.

Prof David Warrel, International director, Royal College of Physicians, London said that the medicine in the market is the same as it was in the 1950's or even older.

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"Though 80% of the anti-venom sold in Nepal and Bangladesh is manufactured from India, the venom has not been upgraded," he said.

He added that patients who have not been bitten by poisonous snakes should not be given anti-venom without testing for the presence of poison in the body.
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Venomous bites or stings are treated with antivenom, a biological product containing antibodies against the venom's active molecule. Milking venom from the desired snake, injecting into a horse, sheep, rabbit, or goat and extracting the antibodies produced by the immune response produces antivenom.

The greatest risk to human population in any country is a wide knowledge about the species of venomous snakes to address snakebite problems. The antivenom produced may not be effective if venom from the wrong species is selected.

Source: Medindia
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