Consumer medicine information

Death Adder Antivenom

Death Adder Antivenom

Active ingredient(s): death adder antivenom (equine)


Consumer Medicine Information (CMI)

This leaflet provides important information about using Death Adder Antivenom. You should also speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you would like further information or if you have any concerns or questions about using Death Adder Antivenom.

Where to find information in this leaflet:

1. Why am I using Death Adder Antivenom?
2. What should I know before being given Death Adder Antivenom?
3. What if I am taking other medicines?
4. How is Death Adder Antivenom given?
5. What should I know while being given Death Adder Antivenom?
6. Are there any side effects?
7. Product details

1. Why am I using Death Adder Antivenom?

Death Adder Antivenom contains the active ingredient death adder antivenom (equine). Death Adder Antivenom is a snake antivenom. Antivenoms are designed to help neutralise the effect of the poison (venom) after a death adder snake bite.

Death Adder Antivenom is used to treat people who become ill after being bitten by a death adder snake.

2. What should I know before being given Death Adder Antivenom?

Warnings

Death Adder Antivenom should not be given if:

You do not have any ill effects from the death adder snake bite, although it can be an emergency life-saving product and should not be withheld from anyone who needs it. Always check the ingredients to make sure you can use this medicine.

Check with your doctor if you:

  • have allergies to any other medicines or any other substances such as foods, preservatives or dyes
  • have any other medical conditions especially the following: asthma, hayfever.
  • take any medicines for any other condition
  • received injections containing horse serum (snake bite and other antivenoms
  • had an anti-tetanus injection before 1974.

During treatment, you may be at risk of developing certain side effects. It is important you understand these risks and how to monitor for them. See additional information under Section 6. Are there any side effects?

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Check with your doctor if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant.

Talk to your doctor if you are breastfeeding or intend to breastfeed.

3. What if I am taking other medicines?

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including any medicines, vitamins or supplements that you buy without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.

Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure about what medicines, vitamins or supplements you are taking and if these affect Death Adder Antivenom.

4. How is Death Adder Antivenom given?

How much is given

The dose for both adults and children is one vial (6,000 units). The dose can be repeated as necessary.

Your doctor will take precautions to counteract any allergic reactions if they should happen.

When is Death Adder Antivenom given

Death Adder Antivenom should only be given when you become ill after being bitten by a death adder.

How is Death Adder Antivenom given

This medicine is diluted and given slowly as a drip into a vein.

Once diluted Death Adder Antivenom should be used immediately. Diluted antivenom should not be stored.

Death Adder Antivenom does not contain any antimicrobial preservative. It should be used once, and any residue discarded.

5. What should I know while being given Death Adder Antivenom?

When medicines are produced in animals and injected into you, it is always possible that viruses or other substances could be present in the medicine and cause an illness. These could be viruses or other infectious agents which may not yet have been discovered. In the past, there have been no reports of this ever having happened with this product.

If you have any queries about any aspect of this medicine, or questions regarding information in this leaflet, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

6. Are there any side effects?

All medicines can have side effects. If you do experience any side effects, most of them are minor and temporary. However, some side effects may need medical attention.

As the injection is made from horse serum, side effects occur more commonly in those who have allergies, particularly if they have ever had injections before which were also prepared from horses. Allergic reactions can be treated by your doctor.

See the information below and, if you need to, ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any further questions about side effects.

Less serious side effects

Less serious side effects What to do
  • local reaction around the injection site such as redness, tenderness, pain or discomfort, warmth, burning or stinging, swelling or the formation of hard lumps or scars
  • chills
  • aching muscles, muscle tenderness or weakness, not caused by exercise
  • stomach pain or discomfort
  • headache
  • nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

These side effects are usually mild

Speak to your doctor if you have any of these less serious side effects and they worry you.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects What to do
  • sudden signs of allergy such as rash, itching or hives on the skin, swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body, shortness of breath, wheezing or trouble breathing
  • rapid, shallow breathing, cold, clammy skin, a rapid, weak pulse, dizziness, weakness and fainting
  • pinkish, itchy swellings on the skin, also called hives or nettle rash
  • fever, swelling, skin rash, joint pains and swelling of the glands in the neck, armpit or groin, anytime up to two weeks after the injection.
  • chest pain
  • high temperature.

These may be serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention.

Call your doctor straight away, or go straight to the Emergency Department at your nearest hospital if you notice any of these serious side effects.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice anything else that may be making you feel unwell.

Other side effects not listed here may occur in some people.

Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects.

You may not experience any of them.

Reporting side effects

After you have received medical advice for any side effects you experience, you can report side effects to the Therapeutic Goods Administration online at www.tga.gov.au/reporting-problems. By reporting side effects, you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.

Always make sure you speak to your doctor or pharmacist before you decide to stop taking any of your medicines.

7. Product details

This medicine is only available with a doctor’s prescription.

What Death Adder Antivenom contains

Active ingredient
(main ingredient)
  • 6,000 units of Death Adder Antivenom
Other ingredients
(inactive ingredients)
  • sodium chloride
  • phenol
  • water for injections
Potential allergens

This product contains substances from horses’ blood.

Death Adder Antivenom and its packaging components do not contain natural rubber latex.

What Death Adder Antivenom looks like

Death Adder Antivenom is a light straw coloured, slightly viscous transparent solution in a glass vial.

AUST R 74896

Who distributes Death Adder Antivenom

Seqirus Pty Ltd, ABN 26 160 735 035
63 Poplar Road
Parkville 3052
Victoria
Australia

This leaflet was prepared in July 2021.