Which medications in the drug class Antitoxins are used in the treatment of Diphtheria?

Updated: Jan 18, 2019
  • Author: Bruce M Lo, MD, MBA, CPE, RDMS, FACEP, FAAEM, FACHE; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
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Diphtheria antitoxin was first used in the United States in 1891, derived from a horse serum, it neutralizes unbound exotoxin. It is to be administered as soon as diphtheria suspected. It can only be obtained from the CDC and is not available internationally. Administer immunization toxoid booster, as the antitoxin does not influence immunity.

Diphtheria antitoxin

Neutralizes toxin before it enters cells. Dose given depends on site of infection and length of time patient is symptomatic. In United States, diphtheria antitoxin (DAT) is available from the CDC. Contact a diphtheria duty officer through CDC’s Emergency Operations Center at 770-488-7100. Report all suspected cases of diphtheria to local and state health departments.

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