Adventure

First Scorpion Antivenin Approved

FDA green-lights bark scorpion drug

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved an antivenin used to treat bark scorpion stings on Wednesday, the first drug of its kind on the U.S. market. Also known as the Centruroides scorpion, the bark scorpion is the country’s most common scorpion, and its most venomous. The antivenin, Ansacorp, is an injectable drug made in Mexico in the same manner as snake antivenom; a horse is injected with venom and immunized plasma is extracted. Bark scorpion stings are rarely life threatening to adults, but can be dangerous for children and infants. About 11,000 people are stung annually in Arizona, where the scorpion is most common. Reactions can include breathing problems, slurred speech, neurological problems, and numbness or burning in the area of the sting. The FDA approved the antivenin after a study showed neurological improvements in children who had been stung. There are no other drugs approved for scorpion stings.

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