A Randomised Controlled Trial of Antivenom for Red-Bellied Black Snake Envenoming (RBBS)




Both males and females


From 18

and above



The purpose of this project is to investigate the effectiveness and safety of early antivenom administration for the treatment of red-bellied black snake bites/envenoming. Red-bellied black snakebites (RBBS) are the most common in Eastern Australia and are not routinely treated with antivenom because they appear to cause minor effects and there is concern about the risk of allergic reactions to antivenom. However, recent work by the Australian Snakebite Project investigators suggests that the early use of antivenom will reduce the chance of people developing muscle damage. This study is a randomised controlled trial of one vial of tiger snake antivenom compared to standard care (placebo) and this will provide evidence for or against the early administration of antivenom for muscle damage. The study will also investigate whether antivenom neutralises other effects of RBBS envenoming and determine the frequency of allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, after antivenom use. In addition to the benefits for Australian snakebite treatment, the results will have global implications because there remains little evidence based on controlled trials for the effectiveness of snake antivenom in general and in particular for muscle damage.


Clinical Trial Site: Clinical Toxicology Research Group
Phone Number: 1800 676 944 Email:  Location: Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital, cnr Edith and Platt Streets Waratah NSW 2298. John Hunter Hospital, New Lambton Heights, NSW, Australia Maitland Hospital, 560 High St, Maitland NSW Australia Belmont Hospital, 16 Croudace Bay Rd, Belmont, NSW Manning Base Hospital, York St, Taree, New South Wales, Australia Coffs Harbour Hospital, 345 Pacific Hwy, Coffs Harbour NSW 2450 Liverpool Hospital Elizabeth St Near College St, Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia Campbelltown Hospital, Campbelltown, New South Wales, Australia Gosford Hospital, Holden St, Gosford, NSW, 2250, Australia Hawkesbury Hospital, 2 Day Street Windsor NSW 2756 Prince of Wales Hospital, Barker Street Randwick NSW 2031 Australia

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Approved By: Hunter New England Human Research Ethics Committee              

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