Copperhead and Cottonmouth Envenomation Medication

Updated: Apr 09, 2021
  • Author: Sean P Bush, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
  • Print
Medication

Medication Summary

The physician must be prepared to support the patient's cardiovascular and respiratory systems after any venomous snakebite.

Next:

Antivenins

Class Summary

Indications for antivenin use in crotalid envenomation include significant or progressive local tissue findings, hematologic laboratory abnormalities, and/or evidence of systemic toxicity (eg, airway swelling, neurological toxicity, cardiovascular collapse). The sooner antivenin is initiated, the more effective it is.

Crotalidae polyvalent immune FAB (ovine) (CroFab)

It is indicated for envenomation caused by North American pit vipers, including rattlesnakes, copperheads, and cottonmouths (water moccasins).

Crotalidae immune FAB (equine) (Anavip)

Crotalidae immune FAB (equine) contains venom-specific F(ab’)2; fragments of immunoglobulin G (IgG) that bind and neutralize venom toxins, thereby facilitating redistribution away from target tissues and elimination from the body. It is indicated for envenomation caused by North American pit vipers, including rattlesnakes, copperheads, and cottonmouths (water moccasins).

Previous
Next:

Immunizations

Class Summary

These agents immunize patients against tetanus.

Diphtheria-tetanus toxoid (dT)

Diphtheria-tetanus toxoid is used to induce active immunity against tetanus in selected patients. Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids are the immunizing agents of choice for most adults and children older than 7 years. Booster doses are necessary to maintain tetanus immunity throughout life because tetanus spores are ubiquitous.

Pregnant patients should receive only tetanus toxoid, not a diphtheria antigen–containing product. In children and adults, immunization may be administered into the deltoid or midlateral thigh muscles. In infants, the preferred site of administration is the mid thigh laterally.

Previous