Venomous snakes, like the rattlesnake pictured above, usually don’t come to mind when you think of “life-saving medicine.” The Brazilian pit viper is one snake that certainly makes a big impact on its victims. When the snake bites an animal, its’ venom causes the prey to black out from a drop in blood pressure, thus making it easier to eat. But did you know that this venomous animal is actually saving lives- HUMAN lives?
Brazilian pit viper venom is the source of the drug captopril, which is used to treat hypertension in humans. And this particular snake isn’t the only venomous snake that is lending modern medicine a hand! Read more about this research here, and check out ways that centipede venom, gila monster venom, and copperhead venom are helping humans.
It’s pretty amazing that scientists are able to come up with ways to help save human lives by researching venomous snakes and harnessing the unique abilities of their venoms. By breaking down different venoms, researchers can work with the natural toxins to create new drugs. Thanks, snakes!