How quickly do symptoms dissipate following antivenom administration for scorpion envenomation?

Updated: Nov 09, 2018
  • Author: David Cheng, MD; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
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Answer

General time guidelines for the disappearance of symptoms after antivenom administration are as follows:

  • Centruroides antivenom: Severe neurologic symptoms reverse in 15-30 min. Mild-to-moderate neurologic symptoms reverse in 45-90 min.

  • Non-Centruroides antivenom: In the first hour, local pain abates. In 6-12 hours, agitation, sweating, and hyperglycemia abate. In 6-24 hours, cardiorespiratory symptoms abate.

While an anaphylaxis reaction to the antivenom is possible, the patient is at lower risk for this than with other antivenoms for other envenomations if there is a scorpion venom—induced large release of catecholamines. Also, animal-derived antivenom increases the risk of hypersensitivity reaction compared to human monoclonal-derived antivenom. Finally, the larger the dose of antivenom, the greater the change for serum sickness.


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