21 Sep
Insect Venom Could Inspire Your Next Treatment Insect Venom Could Inspire Your Next Treatment

Insect Venom Could Inspire Your Next Treatment

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Venom may not be something you’d wish on your worst enemy. However, it could be coming to a drugstore near you, thanks to research studying its usefulness in painkillers. Scientists are studying venom from a variety of organisms for use in treating medical conditions. Since 15 percent of all organisms have venom, researchers have had no trouble finding insects to study as they create compounds for today’s pharmaceuticals.

There are already venom-inspired products on the market, including Ziconotide, which is used as treatment for chronic pain. Ziconotide mimics the venom found in cone snails. Another drug, inspired by venom in the Gila monster, is Exenatide, which is prescribed to diabetes patients. A deadly viper inspired the compound found in Captopril, which treats high blood pressure. Viper venoms are also behind two other blood pressure treatments, ptifibatide and tirofiban.

To understand how venoms are effective in certain treatments, it can help to look specifically at cone snail venom, which use their venom to capture fish for food. This venom numbs the fish so that it doesn’t realize it’s been shot, and that same painkilling effect helps in treating humans recovering from surgery or living with chronic pain.

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Read 2128 times Last modified on Tuesday, 11 September 2018 00:17
Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and novelist whose work has appeared on,, the Intuit Small Business Blog, and many others. She is the Simon & Schuster author of 8 children's books, including the Piper Morgan chapter book series, 25 Roses, and 30 Days of No Gossip.

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