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27 May 2020 

Iranian Antivenin Medicines used by American Soldiers


ISSUE 3 JAN 2013

Although most medications needed by American forces stationed in Afghanistan come directly from the USA, military doctors are helpless when it comes to snake bitten soldiers. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the US officer who wrote the Medical guidance issued by U.S. Central Command says “drugs made by Iran’s Rázi Vaccine & Serum Research Institute ‘should be the first line of antivenin therapy’ because they counter venoms of the most-common Afghan snakes”. The FDA’s approved antivenin medicines do not work on Afghan snake bites as they are manufactured from the venom of snake species found in the USA. Rázi is a respected organisation with strong ties to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Established in 1924, it makes 95,000 ampoules of snake and scorpion antivenin a year. They catch different species of the snakes and after extracting the venom, release them back into the wild. Then a tiny dose of the venom is injected into one of the institute’s 200 horses. The horse produces antibodies in its blood which is then refined into antivenin medicine by technicians. Thirteen species of enormous snakes live in Afghanistan with many of them also indigenous to Iran.....
by Dr Laleh Lohrasbi ... read more