A Mexican made anti-venom has been making its appearance in Arizona hospitals for the past few years. Part of the clinical study on the anti-venom released data in regards to the effectiveness of the anti-venom in May of 2009 “Antivenom for Critically Ill Children with Neurotoxicity from Scorpion Stings”. The studies carried out in Arizona have proven very positive. The report says that very few had any allergic reactions. The studies have seen a 98% success rate through out the clinicals. The data released in 2009 showed a 100% recovery rate within 4 hours of receiving the anti-venom, opposed to the placebo only having 1 out of 7 recover within 4 hours measured by the plasma venom.
“This is the first-ever drug approved for this use by the FDA; the first-ever drug that we are aware of being developed fully in Latin America and subsequently approved by the FDA; the first-ever scorpion antivenom proved effective under controlled clinical trials; and the first-ever antivenom with so few allergic reactions.” Dr. Boyer
Most individuals stung from scorpions will not suffer an allergic reaction. The human body can metabolize the neurotoxin injected by the Arizona Bark Scorpions under normal conditions. It becomes deadly when combined with allergic reactions. Some individuals’ bodies simply overreact to the toxins, sending them into afilactic shock. Afilactic shock makes breathing very difficult. From Rapid breathing to complete shut down of the lungs, individuals will actually die from suffocation. The anti-venom eliminates the plasma venom and within four hours those that were suffering severe reactions are cured.
What does the FDA approval of the anti-venom mean?
Up until now the Arizona hospitals have used the anti-venom as a last effort because it was not officially approved. Doctors always gave it with a disclaimer, “It’s not FDA approved.” Because of the low availability and doctor hesitation to recommend the anti-venom, many individuals that could have undergone a quicker recovery with the help of the anti-venom had to wait out the pain of the scorpion venom. As death from the scorpion sting is rare, the approval will not so much save lives in the United States as it will reduce suffering. It will also reduce the anxiety of worried parents. Seeing a child’s eyes roll back into their heads and their bodies begin convulsing is a horrific scene no parent wishes to endure.
Further, with the FDA approval, the anti-venom should become more available. Drug companies can now begin to officially supply the anti-venom and not worry about producing a medicine that may never make it to market. Knowing that the antidote is readily available will ease the sleeping of a lot of scorpion troubled homes.
What can home owners do to prevent scorpions?
Regular service around the exterior of a home is the first and foremost step in scorpion control. Whether you hire a professional pest control service or do your own home maintenance, consistency is the key. Scorpions trouble neighborhoods. We will never be able to rid an entire neighborhood of scorpions. So to keep the scorpions at bay with a regular treatment, do it yourself or call a professional.
After a regular treatment, additional precautions would be glue traps placed in corners. Glass jars placed around the base of beds and especially cribs. Scorpion seals also create an additional barrier. Treating moisture points in the yard is advised. And treating around pool equipment helps.
It is also advised for those that have allergic reactions to carry an Epinephrine Injection.
- FDA Approves First Scorpion Sting Antidote (fda.gov)
- FDA OKs first-ever treatment for scorpion stings (seattlepi.com)
- FDA Approves Treatment for Scorpion Bites (ducknetweb.blogspot.com)