PMID: 5902706Feb 26, 1966

Progress in tetanus prophylaxis: the advent of human antitoxin

Canadian Medical Association Journal
B J Perey


Injections of tetanus antitoxin of animal origin frequently cause serious disability and sometimes death. Despite world-wide knowledge of these effects, millions of prophylactic injections of equine tetanus antitoxin are given annually, and it is continually proposed that the dosage be increased in order to obtain higher "protective" levels in the serum, a procedure which would increase the incidence and severity of reactions. Furthermore, equine antitoxin frequently fails to prevent tetanus.Tetanus antitoxin of human origin is available which carries no risk of complications and confers a higher degree of immunity more quickly than equine antitoxin. The cost of treating reactions to horse serum, together with the financial loss incurred by work-absence, far outweighs the cost of human antitoxin. In the author's opinion, the use, in this country, of antitoxin of animal origin is no longer medically acceptable and may well prove legally indefensible.

Related Concepts

Oxytetracycline, (5 beta)-Isomer
Tetanus Antitoxin

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