A better snake bite treatment

Published May 10, 2020

Normally if you’re bitten by a snake, you’re either rushed to the hospital for a dose of antivenin, or left in the desert to die, depending on what kind of movie you’re in. That’s great news for the makers of antivenins, which can charge thousands of dollars per dose, but maybe not so great for the people who got bit.   But now scientists at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine say they have a better treatment: dimercaprol, a drug used to treat mercury poisoning (and a derivative called DMPS). It may not eliminate the need for an anti-venom treatment, but, given orally after a snake bite, it can save a life and reduce the need to rush to a hospital.