Stung By A Bark Scorpion? You’re In Luck — The Fda Just Approved A Treatment

Search Health Blog1 August 4, 2011, 9:25 AM Stung By a Bark Scorpion? Youre In Luck The FDA Just Approved a Treatment Biography Some 17,000 scorpion stings were reported to U.S. poison-control centers in 2009, with about 11,000 recorded each year in Arizona alone. So residents of the Grand Canyon State will likely be particularly happy to learn that the FDA has just approved the first treatment for stings by the most common type of scorpion found in the U.S., the Centruroides scorpion, also known as the bark scorpion. Theyre found in the Southwest. The product, Anascorp, is an injection made from the plasma of horses immunized with scorpion venom (and vaccinated against diseases that might hurt humans). Anascorp is made by a Mexican company and is licensed to Rare Diseases Therapeutics, of Franklin, Tenn. It will be distributed by a subsidiary of Medco Health Solutions. The FDA said while scorpion stings are rarely life-threatening, severe stings do occur most frequently in infants and children. The stings can cause breathing problems, slurred speech, trouble swallowing and unusual eye, head and neck movements. Kids who are stung should get medical help as soon as possible. In healthy adults, meantime, scorpion stings can usually be managed at home with basic measures like cleaning the site of the wound with soap and water and applying a cool compress. Anascorp was approved based on a study involving 15 children with neurological symptoms stemming from scorpion stings. These signs resolved within four hours of treatment in the eight children who received Anascorp, but in only one of the seven participants who received a placebo treatment, according to the FDA. The agency said it also looked at data involving more than 1,500 people in other studies of Anascorp. And for those of us whod like to avoid the scorpion-sting experience altogether, know that they like to hang out in dark, moist places and are particularly active at night. According to the FDA , scorpions may hitch a ride into homes in a sack of groceries or piece of clothing. Once indoors, they may get trapped in the sink or bathtub, look for a place to hide in an attic or crawl space, or scale the walls or ceiling. And (ugh): Victims often report being stung while sleeping. According to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum , scorpion exoskeletons become fluorescent under ultraviolet light, so you can use a black light to find them outdoors or in your home. Correction: This post has been corrected to remove an incorrect reference to a scorpion bite instead of wound. Photo: J. Zirato, University of Arizona BioCommunications, via FDA
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