New drug helps kids recover from scorpion stings

Experimental antivenom takes effect within just two hours

No antivenom specifically designed for scorpion stings is currently available in the U.S., where bites in children are typically treated with heavy sedation to quell symptoms. But a new experimental drug is offering hope, as a small clinical trial of young children stung by bark scorpions found that most who were given the drug recovered within two hours. Those given a placebo, meanwhile, had symptoms that lasted four hours or more, and required heavy sedation and hospitalization. About 8,000 Arizona residents are stung by poisonous scorpions each year and most adults recover without needing treatment. But about 200 young kids who are bitten develop severe symptoms, including having trouble breathing. In the new study, kids aged 6 months to 18 years were randomly assigned either the drug, Anascorp, or a placebo. Just one hour after receiving a dose, children who received Anascorp had no detectable levels of venom in their blood; by four hours, they had recovered completely. Kids who received the placebo required sedation at levels 65 times higher than those who got the antivenom. Some were hospitalized for up to 48 hours.

New York Times

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