Existing protocols for antivenom treatment of snake envenomations are generally not well optimized due partly to inadequate knowledge of the toxicokinetics of venoms. The toxicokinetics of Naja sputatrix (Javan spitting cobra) venom was investigated following intravenous and intramuscular injections of the venom into rabbits using double-sandwich ELISA. The toxicokinetics of the venom injected intravenously fitted a two-compartment model. When the venom was injected intramuscularly, the serum concentration-time profile exhibited a more complex absorption and/or distribution pattern. Nevertheless, the terminal half-life, volume of distribution by area and systemic clearance of the venom injected intramuscularly were not significantly different (p>0.05) from that of the venom injected intravenously. The systemic bioavailability of the venom antigens injected by intramuscular route was 41.7%. Our toxicokinetic finding is consistent with other reports, and may indicate that some cobra venom toxins have high affinity for the tissues at the site of injection. Our results suggest that the intramuscular route of administration doesn't significantly alter the toxicokinetics of N. sputatrix venom although it significantly reduces the systemic bioavailability of the venom.
- Intramuscular bioavailability
- Naja sputatrix venom