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Progressive systemic neurotoxicity is a common feature in patients envenomed following the bite of a Papuan taipan (Oxyuranus scutellatus canni). Respiratory paralysis, which commonly results, accounts for considerable morbidity and mortality. Established neurotoxicity does not respond to antivenom. In this study, a combination of clinical and electrophysiological variables was used to assess the effect of edrophonium and 3,4-diaminopyridine in patients with significant neurotoxicity. Both drugs produced minor electrophysiological and clinical changes in envenomed patients. This effect was maximal when the 2 drugs were used in combination, but was insufficient to be of significant clinical benefit. Neither drug can be recommended for use in the management of Papuan taipan bite.


Journal article


Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg

Publication Date





444 - 446


4-Aminopyridine, Action Potentials, Amifampridine, Animals, Antidotes, Atropine, Drug Combinations, Edrophonium, Elapid Venoms, Elapidae, Hand Strength, Humans, Snake Bites