Arizona scientists to take closer look at new snake antivenom

May 14, 2015, 8:02 AM | Updated: 8:02 am

There may be another option on the horizon for those unfortunate enough to be bitten by a rattlesnake.

According to a Tucson News Now report, a new antivenom called Anavip has just received approval from the FDA.

Prior to Anavip receiving the FDA stamp of approval, the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center at the University of Arizona helped test the antivenom. However scientists at the school want to spend more researching the antidote to see how it could better treat snake bite victims.

Expected to be available sometime in 2018, the antivenom will provide patients with a second treatment option. The other drug, CroFab, won FDA approval in 2000.

“We know that with one drug available to us that there are some patients that we have a very difficult time controlling,” Dr. Keith Boesen, director of the Drug Information Center told Tucson News Now.

“And our answer is to give more drug and more drug and more drug. The option might exist that these patients may respond better to a different option.

“We have so many different types and varieties of snakes that live in Arizona, which really results in, per capita, you are more likely to be bit by a rattlesnake in Arizona than any other states in the country.”

Boesen said poison centers in Arizona treat over 200 rattlesnake bites a year.

Since the beginning of rattlesnake season in April, 18 people have been bitten in Tucson, which is average for this point in the season.

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Arizona scientists to take closer look at new snake antivenom