an antitoxin present in the blood of an animal following repeated injections of venom.
the antitoxic serum obtained from such blood.
- Also an·ti·ven·in [an-tee-ven-in, an-tahy-] /ˌæn tiˈvɛn ɪn, ˌæn taɪ-/ .
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use antivenom in a sentence
They speed up the immune system’s clearance of toxins, because antivenoms are, themselves, antibodies pulled from the blood of large animals, usually horses, that have been injected with venom.
This reaction to the antivenom itself can be life-threatening if not treated promptly.
Effective snakebite treatments do exist, and those antivenoms are considered the “gold standard” of care.
If a victim receives the right antivenom soon after a bite — within an hour or two — then the chances of survival are “very, very high,” says Nicholas Casewell, a biomedical scientist at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in England.
A “better safe than sorry” approach may seem warranted, but injecting antivenom when it’s not needed or if it’s the wrong kind can put the patient at even greater risk.