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Universitas Medica

versão impressa ISSN 0041-9095versão On-line ISSN 2011-0839


SARMIENTO, Karen et al. Comparison of the Effectiveness, the Safety, and the Pharmacokinetic of Snakebites Antivenoms: Review. Univ. Med. [online]. 2020, vol.61, n.1, pp.30-51. ISSN 0041-9095.


In Colombia, around 5000 cases of snakebites are reported annually, producing a clinical poisoning whose neutralization depends on heterologous immunoglobulins. Commercially, second-generation complete immunoglobulins and third-generation fabotherapies can be found; however, their differences are unknown to many physicians.


To present the main pharmacokinetic characteristics by comparing the different generations of antivenoms, as well as the frequency of side effects.

Materials and Methods:

A literature search was conducted in databases using a combination of descriptors and Mesh terms, in English and Spanish. Pharmacokinetic parameters were compared in preclinical studies and side effects in clinical studies.


From the researchers analyzed, we found that the main pharmacokinetic differences are a consequence of the size of the immunoglobulin fraction, so the fabotherapic have a greater distribution to the tissues and a shorter half-life, compared with the complete immunoglobulins. At a clinical level, studies were found that showed higher to lower presentation of side effects to complete immunoglobulins, followed by antivenoms F(ab´)2 and Fab respectively.


There are big pharmacological differences between the generations of antivenoms, which are exposed in this document as a practical tool to optimize the adequate pharmacological treatment in snakebite.

Palavras-chave : snakebites; pharmacokinetic; venoms; Elapidae; Viperidae; antivenoms.

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