FDA approves scorpion anti-venom

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PHOENIX - Drug safety officials have approved the first-ever treatment for scorpion stings that can prove fatal if left untreated.

The Food and Drug Administration says it will permit the use of Anascorp to treat stings by Centruroides, or bark scorpions, which live mostly in Arizona.

Stings by the scorpion can cause difficulty breathing, blurred vision and muscle twitching, especially in children. Untreated cases can be fatal.

The FDA says Anascorp is effective when injected into patients who had run-ins with Centruroides. Children and infants are the most likely to experience severe stings.

The University of Arizona led the trials, which included 1,500 children with symptoms associated with scorpion stings. All of the subjects that received the drug improved within four hours.

Past treatment included heavy sedation.

"We'd end up putting a tube in, using drugs, and paralyzing the child to let them get through the symptoms," said Lynn Peltier, a nurse practitioner at Deer Valley Hospital's Mendy's Place.

Doctors say the anti-venom changes everything.

"The kids are calmed, sitting up and eating ice pops in just an hour," said, Dr. Michelle Ruha of Banner Good Samaritan.

Anascorp will be widely distributed in hospitals throughout the state.