Antivenin vs Antivenom
In conversation with friends and Guests it occurred to me recently that the average person knows virtually nothing about antivenoms. Not that most people should, it really doesn’t impact their lives. However, I have also found most people are quite fascinated when I tell them about this unique medicine. Buy Antivenin online
What Does Antivenom Do?
Snake venoms are extremely complex and vary considerably from species to species. In fact, research has shown that a single snake’s venom can vary markedly on a daily or, yes, even hourly basis. At any rate, because their effects are so different, I can’t go into the details of how each antivenom works. Suffice it to say its purpose is to neutralize venoms so they don’t kill you.
How Do You Get It?
But once you get your IND # you don’t just go online and order from Amazon. The next step is to apply for a US government permit to import a specific venom lab’s antivenoms, the specific types being requested and quantities of each. Orders from separate labs require separate permit applications. The permit application process can take many months. It requires us to detail what we want and why we want it, provide information regarding what our bite protocol is, how we will be importing it, how we will store it, and how we will dispose of expired antivenoms if we don’t use them.
While applying for the import permit we also begin the process of contacting the venom lab to see what antivenoms they have in stock and, critically, what the expiration dates are on the stock we would receive. Some antivenoms are good for only two years. If we order just before a new production run then we could spend a lot of effort and money on antivenom that will expire just a few months after we get it. Therefore, we always try to get the freshest batches possible for the longest shelf life.
There are two main types of antivenom: vials containing liquid antivenom, which is rather delicate and requires constant refrigeration. This is not something you want to find out when you need it. The other type is known as lyophilized which is freeze-dried and is then reconstituted in the vial at time of use. This type is far more stable and can take somewhat warmer temperatures than the liquid type. However, this type is considered by some in the business to be slightly less effective. Buy Antivenin online
As soon as the permit arrives we complete the order with the venom lab and arrange a bank transfer for payment
Because of the lengthy process we usually start working on getting fresh antivenom a year or more before our current stock expires. Once it finally arrives it goes in a special refrigerator that holds only our antivenom stock. When we have the new stock we dispose of our oldest stock as per methods required by US government regulation.
How Much Do You Need and How Much Does It Cost?
- A single vial of Boomslang antivenom costs $5500 and one could require up to 3 vials to counteract a serious bite.
- A King Cobra bite could require 20 vials, although 50 is not unheard of. Fortunately it is a much cheaper antivenom (though also not as effective as others either) at just $40 per vial.
- For a Taipan bite one might need 7 to 10 vials at $2100 per vial. A Gaboon Viper bite could require 20 or more vials which cost $315 each.
Then, of course, along with the antivenom costs, you have to add in all the other hospital costs, intensive care and all which in the case of a bad viper bite could easily top a quarter of a million dollars. Buy Antivenin online
Depending on what we need to replace, we normally spend anywhere from $10,000 to
$50,000 per year on antivenom. I consider it like any other insurance policy, something you must have but hope you never need. The good news: In our 79-year history we have never had to use our antivenom for a bite here at Reptile Gardens.