Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Snake Antivenom

Snake Antivenom

Overview

Antivenom is a medicine that is given to stop snake venom from binding to tissues and causing serious blood, tissue, or nervous system problems. Side effects from antivenom can include rash, itching, wheezing, rapid heart rate, fever, and body aches.

The use of antivenom depends on how much poison was injected (envenomation) and the type and size of the snake. Large snakes tend to inject more venom than smaller snakes do. Antivenom is used for mild, moderate, and severe envenomations.

  • Dry bites (no venom injected) do not need to be treated with antivenom.
  • Mild envenomation bites may cause mild symptoms, such as slight bleeding, pain, and swelling at the bite.
  • Moderate envenomations are more likely to cause symptoms of severe pain, swelling of the whole limb, and general feelings of illness, such as nausea, vomiting, and weakness.
  • Severe envenomation symptoms include severe pain, severe swelling, difficulty breathing, moderate to severe bleeding, and signs of shock.

For best results, antivenom should be given as soon as possible after the bite. It is usually given within the first 4 hours after the snakebite and may be effective for 2 weeks or more after the bite.

Snake venoms can cause many problems, such as:

  • Blood-clotting problems.
  • Injury to muscles.
  • Low blood pressure leading to shock.
  • Kidney damage.
  • Nervous system problems.
  • Severe allergic reactions.
  • Swelling.

Serum sickness is a delayed reaction to receiving antivenom and can occur several days or weeks after treatment. Symptoms of serum sickness include fever, chills, rash, muscle aches, joint aches, itching, and blood in the urine. Call your doctor if you have received antivenom medicine and you now have symptoms of serum sickness.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Related Links

Snake and Lizard Bites

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna

Audiences

Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

Cigna Company Information

About Cigna Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice [PDF] Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap

Disclaimer

Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities  that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from Cigna.com to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details