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First Aid & Emergencies

Black Widow Spider Bite Treatment

Call 911 if the person: 

  • Has trouble breathing
  • Shows signs of shock
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  • Has trouble breathing
  • Shows signs of shock

1. Get Help Immediately

  • Call your health care provider or go to a hospital emergency room.
  • If possible, kill the spider and take it to the doctor with you.
  • Symptoms include target-like marking and slight swelling at wound site, muscle pains and cramps within 2 hours of the bite, weakness, headache, nausea, vomiting, sweating, dizziness, itching, anxiety, and increased blood pressure.

2. Treat Symptoms

  • Apply ice on the way to the health care provider's office or emergency room to relieve pain and swelling.

3. Follow Up

  • The health care provider will examine and clean the wound.
  • The person may require a tetanus shot or booster, depending on the date of the last injection.
  • A person with severe symptoms -- such as intense pain and cramping or high blood pressure -- may be admitted to the hospital overnight. Antivenin may be needed to treat serious bites.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on November 19, 2013

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