A randomized double-blind clinical trial of two antivenoms in patients bitten by Bothrops atrox in Colombia. The Regional Group on Antivenom Therapy Research (REGATHER)

Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1996 Nov-Dec;90(6):696-700. doi: 10.1016/s0035-9203(96)90442-3.


A randomized double-blind clinical trial in 39 patients envenomed by Bothrops atrox in Antioquia and Chocó, Colombia, was performed to compare the efficacy and safety of 2 equine-derived antivenoms prepared at Instituto Clodomiro Picado, University of Costa Rica. Twenty patients received a monovalent anti-B. atrox antivenom (group A) and 19 patients were treated with a polyvalent (Crotalinae) antivenom (group B). Both antivenoms were equally efficient in the neutralization of the most relevant signs of envenoming (haemorrhage and blood clotting time alteration). Fourteen patients (36%) presented early adverse reactions to antivenoms and no significant difference between the 2 groups was observed. Urticaria (18%) was the most frequent early adverse reaction and there was no life-threatening anaphylactic reaction. Based on clinical criteria and serum venom levels, estimated by an enzyme immunoassay, 15 patients were classified into 2 groups: mild and moderate/severe envenoming. With the antivenom doses used in this study (3, 6 and 9 vials for mild, moderate and severe envenoming, respectively), both antivenoms were equally efficient in clearing serum venom levels within the first hour of treatment, and the levels remained below the lower limit of venom detection for 24 h. Antivenom concentration in serum remained high for up to 24 h after antivenom infusion, suggesting that an excess of antibody in relation to circulating antigen had been administered.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Antivenins / adverse effects
  • Antivenins / blood
  • Antivenins / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Coagulation
  • Bothrops*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Colombia
  • Crotalid Venoms / blood*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Edema / therapy
  • Hemorrhage / therapy
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Snake Bites / complications
  • Snake Bites / pathology
  • Snake Bites / physiopathology
  • Snake Bites / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antivenins
  • Crotalid Venoms