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(路透墨西哥市4日電)蠍子在墨西哥北部部分地區,令人又珍惜但也畏懼,蠍子螫人的情形在此十分普遍,死掉的蠍子也會被用來裝飾鑰匙鍊及觀賞用的菸灰缸。

多年來對付蠍子致命螫傷的經驗,讓墨西哥科學家得能研製出抗毒血清,在美國獲得核准推出。

這項藥物在美國以「Anascorp」名稱販售,它是由墨西哥自治大學(National Autonomous University)和民間生物醫學機構的科學家所研發。

Anascorp在美國各急診室經測試超過500名蠍螫患者後,才在3日獲得美國食品暨藥物管理局(FDA)核准。

食品暨藥物管理局說,Anascorp萃取自對蠍毒免疫的馬匹血漿。研發人員說,這項解毒劑是第1種獲得美國衛生當局核准的墨西哥藥物。研究人員期待,這個藥物可以拯救美國西南各州常被蠍子螫傷的民眾。

Anascorp研發人員說,蠍子每年螫傷約1萬名美國人,大部分在亞利桑那州,墨西哥每年也有超過25萬人,遭蠍子螫傷。Anascorp可在注射後兩小時內,中和蠍子毒液,消除螫傷。

監督美國臨床藥物試驗的科學家李佛(Jose Lever)說:「這在美國極為重要,特別是在發生最多螫傷情況的亞利桑那州。在Anascorp出現之前並沒有抗毒血清,所以病患必須接受密集治療。」

蠍子的種類超過1000種,其中約50種對人類性命造成威脅。中央社(翻譯)

FDA approves Anascorp for Scorpion Stings

Yesterday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Anascorp, the first specific treatment for a scorpion sting by Centruroides scorpions in the United States.

In the U.S., most venomous scorpions are found in Arizona. There are 30 species of scorpions found there, buy only one is regarded as life-threatening: the Bark Scorpion (Centruroides exilicauda). It has slender tail segments and pincers, reaching only an inch and a half at maturity.

Scorpions are relatively inactive during the daylight hours. The majority of stings reported occur at night during the warm summer months.

Scorpion stings can cause immediate local pain with minimal swelling. Numbness and tingling are frequently reported. The injured area may be very sensitive to touch, pressure, heat and cold.

Small children are at highest risk of severe reactions which are marked by shortness of breath, fluid in the lungs, breathing problems, excess saliva, blurred vision, slurred speech, trouble swallowing, abnormal eye movements, muscle twitching, trouble walking, and other uncoordinated muscle movements. Untreated cases can be fatal.

“This product provides a new treatment for children and adults and is designed specifically for scorpion stings,” said Karen Midthun, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “Scorpion stings can be life-threatening, especially in infants and children.”

Anascorp, Centruroides (Scorpion) Immune F(ab’)2 (Equine) Injection, is made from the plasma of horses immunized with scorpion venom. Anascorp may cause early or delayed allergic reactions in people sensitive to horse proteins. The manufacturing process for Anascorp includes steps to decrease the chance of allergic reactions and to reduce the risk of transmission of viruses that may be present in the plasma.

The effectiveness of Anascorp was based on results from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 15 children with neurological signs of scorpion stings. These signs resolved within four hours of treatment in the eight subjects who received Anascorp, but in only one of the seven participants who received the placebo. The most common side effects were vomiting, fever, rash, nausea, itchiness, headache, runny nose, and muscle pain. In total, safety and efficacy data was collected from 1,534 patients in both open-label and blinded studies.

Anascorp was designated as an Orphan drug by FDA and received priority review. It is licensed to Rare Disease Therapeutics Inc., Franklin, TN, distributed by Accredo Health Group Inc., Memphis, TN, and manufactured by Instituto Bioclon, S.A. de C.V., of Tlalpan, Mexico, D.F.

Basic first aid steps if you are stung by any scorpion:

  1. Wash the area of the scorpion sting with soap and water.
  2. Apply a cool compress on the area of the scorpion sting.
  3. If stung on a limb (arm or leg) elevate the limb to heart level.
  4. If severe symptoms are present (these might include blurry vision, muscle twitching, roving eye movements, or other non-typical symptoms), go to the nearest emergency facility for treatment.

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