Snake venoms can cause many problems, such as:
Antivenom is a medicine that is given to stop snake venom from
binding to tissues and causing serious blood, tissue, or
nervous system problems. Side effects
from antivenom can include rash, itching, wheezing, rapid heart rate, fever, and
The use of antivenom depends on how much poison was injected
(envenomation) and the type and size of the snake. Large snakes tend
to inject more venom than smaller snakes do. Antivenom is used for mild,
moderate, and severe envenomations.
For best results, antivenom should be given as soon as possible after
the bite. It is usually given within the first 4 hours
after the snakebite and may be effective for 2 weeks or more after the bite.
Serum sickness is a delayed reaction to receiving antivenom and can occur several days or weeks after treatment. Symptoms of serum sickness include fever, chills, rash, muscle aches, joint aches, itching, and blood in the urine. Call your doctor if you have received antivenom medicine and you now have symptoms of serum sickness.
June 6, 2012
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Sean P. Bush, MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine, Envenomation Specialist
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