Tarantula Venom Being Studied For Painkilling Effects

August 3rd, 2016

Feeling the sting of a tarantula bite must rank as a particularly stressful experience in life when simply seeing a tarantula is enough to make me run in complete fear. However, as terrible as it must be, there are benefits that you would most likely not consider at the time of a tarantula bite.

For example, the venom belonging to the Peruvian green velvet tarantula, contains a peptide referred to as Pro-Tx-11, which is a molecule that reduces the perception of pain in humans being administered the peptides. This research could lead to the development of non-narcotic drugs that don’t carry the risk of abuse or addiction that current painkilling drugs are known for.

Using an animal’s venom as medicine is not new to the US medical community. For example, venom-immunotherapy has been used to treat allergic reactions of all kinds, such as bee stings and other animal bites. Currently researchers have much to learn about the medicinal benefits of animal venom.

Which medical conditions have been successfully treated with venom therapy?

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August 2016