Neostigmine in the treatment of snake accidents caused by Micrurus frontalis: report of two cases (1)

O Vital Brazil, R J Vieira
Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo 1996, 38 (1): 61-7
Antivenom in order to be effective in the treatment of coral snake accidents must be injected very soon after the bite owing to the rapid rate of absorption of the venom neurotoxins. As this is not always possible, other forms of treatment besides serotherapy must be employed to avoid asphyxia and death. Neostigmine and artificial respiration are used for this purpose. Neostigmine restores neuromuscular transmission if the venom-induced blockade results from a reversible interaction of its neurotoxins with the end-plate receptors. This is the mechanism of the neuromuscular blockade produced by the venom of M. frontalis snakes from centereastern and southern Brazil, and Argentine. Neostigmine is able, therefore, to antagonize the blockade, and has been shown to be very effective in the treatment of the experimental envenomation of dogs and monkeys. In the present communication, two cases of M. frontalis accidents treated with antivenom and neostigmine are reported. In both, neostigmine was successful in producing regression of the paralysis, confirming the effectiveness shown in the treatment of the poisoning induced in animals by M. frontalis venom.

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