Comparative Clinical Pathology

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 1321–1325 | Cite as

Calculation of effective dose fifty (ED50) of antivenom for American pit viper envenomation

  • Saganuwan Alhaji Saganuwan
Original Article


The use of conventional approved snake antivenom is the most reliable snake envenomotherapy at the moment. However, because of post-treatment hypersensitivity reactions sometimes caused by large doses of snake antivenoms, the treatment of snake poisoning needs to be reviewed. The effective dose fifty (ED50) of snake antivenom was calculated for 11 American pit viper envenomation as reported by Consroe et al. Four different ED50 formulas were used to determine effective dose fifty of snake antivenom against LD50 of the snake venoms using intravenous route. The findings revealed that snake envenomotherapy is in monotonic dose-response fashion with each formular producing ED50 value for specific snake. The difference in values may be due to species of snakes and the types of ED50 formula used. All the ED50 formulas with the LD50 as numerator yielded higher effective therapeutic dose of snake antivenoms and corresponding higher LD50 values of snake venoms. The lower the denominator, the lower the LD50 and the ED50 value, and the lower the chance of hypersensitivity reaction, but the higher may be the chance of the snake antivenom failure. Therefore, Saganuwan’s formula \( \left({\mathrm{LD}}_{50}=\frac{ED_{50}}{3}\ x\ Wa\ x\ {10}^{-4}\right) \), whereas Wa is weight of animal, could produce effective envenometherapy with low chance of hypersensitivity reactions.


Median lethal dose Effective dose fifty Snake antivenom Snake venom Hypersensitivity reaction 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Veterinary Physiology, Pharmacology and Biochemistry, College of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of AgricultureMakurdiNigeria

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