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Black Widow Spider Bite


What was the treatment for your black widow spider bite? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Dave, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 03

I was bit on the back of my neck by a black widow spider and it caused a big bump like it was a large infected pimple or a small abscess except that there wasn't any discharge that could be pressed out. It was sore to the touch and I applied triple antibiotic ointment to a large Band-Aid and wore this dressing at night while sleeping. This seemed to help a little at first but the bump is still present even after about 1 3/4 months albeit gradually getting smaller every week. I started taking antibiotic orally for an unrelated issue and the bump is ever so gradually decreasing in size after about 5 days on the antibiotic. I am still applying triple antibiotic ointment however not using the Band-Aid dressing because of irritation.

Comment from: Mhh, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 21

I was bitten on a Tuesday but never saw the spider. Very painful. I applied cortisone and an hour later started feeling weak and sore. The bite was very red and about the size of a half dollar with a little mark in the middle. That night I had persistent chest, arm, and back pain. Wednesday morning, I had fatigue and muscle pain throughout my body. I went to my doctor and was told it was classic black widow spider; high blood pressure, fever, pain, and flu like symptoms. He prescribed Benadryl, cortisone, ice, and ibuprofen. Thursday I couldn't work and couldn't walk because of the pain. Site was growing in size and redness. I called the doctor but they never called back. Fever was rising. I took more ibuprofen. It helped the pain and the fever. Friday, I was trying to go back to work. Seems better in the mornings. We'll see. I guess the venom will just have to work its way out. My advice, see a doctor but don't count on much relief. According to others, it may take a few weeks.

Comment from: eager1, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 15

I was bitten by a black widow spider. I had no access to medical help. When a red line started to go up my arm I used Epsom salt, made a paste, applied it, and secured a cover on my arm for about a week and a half. It finally started to clear up, but for about a month I was very disoriented, tired and restless. It left a pit type scar. Hope it never happens again. I will hesitate to seek care.

Comment from: armpit, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 17

I got bit by a black widow spider last night, in the armpit. It felt like my arm was going to fall off. The pain was excruciating! I called the ambulance, they told us ambulance ride would be USD 1,000.00 so my husband drove me to the emergency room (ER). Three hours later, I got to hospital and they numbed the site pain, thank goodness! I never want to experience that pain again! Then doctor told me if I get bit again, it could be worse the second time, with trachea breathing problems. I will not go around the tree again, where the spider was hanging out. By the way, we took the spider into the ER and it was still being aggressive to the nurse.

Comment from: Bettina, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 14

I was bitten in the neck as a 32 year old very healthy woman. I never saw the spider and had no clue that there are poisons spiders in California. But I know I'm very allergic to bee stings which I had in my past in Europe. I thought I had an insect bite near my right ear, went to my doctor because there was some pain (not too bad in the beginning). She said a spider bite me and sent me home with antibiotics which I took for 10 days. The pain got really bad the next day, so bad that I took some aspirin, since I had no other pain killer in the house. I became slightly nauseous and a little dizzy, lost almost all motion over my body, and developed a tremor in as well as difficulty moving. Then I became chilled and could not get warm. I'm pretty sure I also ran a high fewer. Anyway the antibiotics didn't help at all not did the aspirin. So I went back to the doc and she wanted to sent me to a nose- throat doc (or whatever you call them) to cut my neck which I declined and called my acupuncture doc at that point. That was the best move ever, she put 1 needle in the top of my head and all paid was gone right away. Have to say my neck was swollen to a full large hen egg and hardened! She put at least 80 needles in my body all over most in that swollen part which hurt like hell. Same treatment she gave me over 2 weeks, the pain was gone after the first. I also received tons of Chinese herbs to drink as a tea to boost my immune system. After 2 weeks the swollen part of my neck was softer and after pocking around a bit it opened and a flow of yellow stuff came out, not pretty but I felt much better. I used a whole toilet roll for that white stuff so you can imagine how much I got out! Today, 10 years later, I believe very much, my acupuncture doctor saved my life and the area is still a bit red but no bite marks or similar are left.

Comment from: Ronald , 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: July 23

I was bitten by some type of insect maybe a black widow spider or scorpion on my ankle. That was eight days ago today. I still have real pain in my ankle. I wonder if it is reasonable to expect the pain to last that long.

Comment from: Goldie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 08

I've been bitten twice now. The first was on my thigh when cause a red raided area the second was on my face left a red slightly raised area. I didn't feel the pain most feel but have high tolerance for pain. I immediate put a police on it. The first time I had nothing so used regular flower making a thick paste and let it dry. As it dried it drew the poison out rinsed it off and applied it again. By the next day after leaving it on all night there was hardly any redness. The same with my face but used clay and activated charcoal but the face took a few days and this time was a bit sickened had aches and pains. Nothing to draw me to the hospital over but didn't feel well but going to work took my mind off it.


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Comment from: Pat, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 25

I immediately came into the house and took the Homeopathic remedy Apis Mellifica. I actually thought it was a bee that had bitten me. However, I didn't see the perpetrator. It was underneath my dress on the thigh. I saw a red mark, which later became the size of a quarter. Next day it had become the size of a half dollar and was growing. I wasn't sure what had bitten me. I'm 67, by the way, and live alone. Poison control said to ice the bite, so I did. I took some more Apis Mel. because it was beginning to itch. That took the itch and pain away. But now my whole back hurt. Several Excedrin later, there was no change. I went to the hospital, because the bite area was rising away from my skin. They never looked at the bite, said my respiration was normal and so was my blood pressure. They asked me to wait, and after three hours, I figured they weren't worried about me, so I left. The bite was on a Saturday morning, and by Monday morning, the back pain was gone. I still have large rash or reddish area on my thigh, but after icing it Sunday and this morning, it seems fine, and the raised part has gone away. I would suggest homeopathic remedies for black widow bites or any bite with pain. Apis is for a bee bite or spider bite. Get some at your health food store.

Comment from: kskor, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 23

I was bitten by a black widow. I've never had a bite or anything that looks quite like it. I first thought it was a mosquito bite because it itched badly and was raised up about the size of dime on the back of my wrist. I had eaten a sandwich at a fast food place just before arriving home for the night. I live on a ranch in a rural area and did chores upon arriving home. I reach into big dark bags of feed in a machine shed. Later that evening I had stomach cramps, shivering, a high fever and heart palpitations. My stomach was in knots and my back hurt. I could not stop shivering.

Comment from: Ladytree, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 15

We had pulled down the ceiling in our home for repair. I got bit in the crease of my upper leg/pelvis and it was an aggressive looking huge red area with a swollen gland in the crease of my leg. 103.7 fever at night followed by extreme muscle cramping and spasms in that leg. OH the pain!

Comment from: vicarlos, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 29

Last winter I went snowshoeing and there was a Black Widow in my boot and it bit my leg. Immediately I felt pain like I had pulled a muscle. Then in an hour I was crawling from the car on my hands and knees. I could actually see the two bite holes, my leg was red and massive and burning. I talked to my paramedic friend that said antibiotics is all they can really do.

Comment from: pianodoglady, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 08

Our dog was bitten by a black widow. She was in great pain when she came in the house with just a little swollen spot on her face but trembling all over. A couple of hours later she vomited, during the night she started convulsing, and while we were waiting for the vet in his parking lot at five the next morning (Monday), she passed away. I spray for ticks and spiders several times a year now.

Comment from: karla, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 10

I was bitten while camping, after reaching my hand into a bucket that had toys in it. I killed the spider and bagged it to take it with me to the ER for an absolute positive ID. The initial reaction was severe pain, like being stuck with a hot poker. An hour later, I felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest because I was having severe muscle spasms. At the ER, I was treated with IV steroids, IV pain medicine, and IV Ativan for muscle spasms. The pain lasted about 3 days and gradually moved down my body to my legs, and then feet.

Comment from: Mrs. H., 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: April 23

My dog (a 9 year old pit bull) has been bitten by a black widow on the end of his snout. He is allergic to bee stings already and gets welts when I give him Benadryl. He is very ill with this bite. I give him IV fluids and liquid food with a syringe. He is on antibiotics and steroids. For two weeks it has been touch and go, but his eyes are shining a little more today. He is so weak he can't walk, though. Tomorrow is another day and I will keep helping him.

Comment from: southerngail, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 08

I have been diagnosed with a brown recluse spider bite. I have been on antibiotics and I had to have the bite lanced and now every two days going to and from the doctor to have the packing changed.

Comment from: 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: January 24

I am a 29 year old male in good health. I was bitten early yesterday morning on my elbow while cleaning out a storage unit. At the time I didn't even realize a bite had occurred, but do remember lifting some boxes and feeling cobwebs on my elbow. When I went to brush the cobwebs away, I was surprised by the spider instead of cobwebs. I did not feel any pain at all, and supposed the spider must not have bitten me. To my surprise, a couple of hours later my elbow started to hurt a bit, as if I had knocked it on something, perhaps. Then, around four hours later it began to swell steadily. By late afternoon the swelling was approaching the size of a large egg, visibly red, warm to the touch, was quite painful, and still continuing to swell steadily. Last night, 12 hours after the bite, my elbow had swollen to the size of a grapefruit and was so painful that even the touch of my clothing was almost unbearable. I became slightly nauseous and a little dizzy, lost almost all motion in my elbow, and developed a tremor in as well as difficulty moving the fingers of my left hand. Then, as I went to bed last night, I became chilled and could not get warm (though the heater was on and it was close to 80 degrees in my apartment) and began to shiver uncontrollably. Last night was almost entirely sleepless - kept waking in fits and starts and I was plagued by a sense of waking delirium. This morning the swelling and redness are reduced, and most movement and range of motion are back; but the pain is still quite intense (especially on contact). The muscles in my back are incredibly sore and cramped (I suspect from the shivering), and I am still quite chilled. It almost feels like the flu...with an incredibly painful wasp-sting on my elbow. Had I been alone last night, I probably would have gone to the emergency room as the dizziness, chills, and sense of disorientation were pretty intense. At this point, almost 36 hours after the bite, I think that it is manageable without urgent medical care, though definitely merits respect as a serious medical concern. I can certainly see how this would be life threatening to children and the elderly.


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Comment from: Ellie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 27

I was bitten on the bottom of the foot 10 days ago. The pain began within an hour and was so severe that I had to be taken to the hospital ER. There they treated me only with muscle relaxants and pain medication intravenously, and sent me home. The next days I was still quite sick, shaking, elevated blood pressure and sugar, and in severe pain. My primary care doctor put me immediately on antibiotics and Benadryl, noting the swelling on both feet and redness on the bitten leg. She said I had not been treated extensively enough by the ER. Now I have returned to normal after 10 days except for the amount of venom still present in my foot. This will take 2-3 weeks to clear, she said.

Comment from: Dana, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 05

The hubs now calls me Spider Woman. I've had (2) Brown Recluse bites and now a Black Widow bite. Hands down she packs a wallop. While yes I did have to seek treatment for the Brown Recluse bites, they were virtually painless (a heartbeat feeling at the bite area itself) and when days/weeks later the ulcer like sore continued to deepen did I boogie to the doctor. Within a short time on antibiotics the wound began healing/shrinking.

Comment from: jasrbrat, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 04

I'm 62. It hurt like the devil after about half an hour. Then, my bicep, elbow and shoulder began to cramp and spasm. After I started to feel like I was having a heart attack, coupled with the left arm pain, I went to the hospital. At one point I passed out from the pain. It lasted a LONG TIME and I was hospitalized for eight days. The bite caused a severe infection that we had to fight for nearly a month.

Comment from: kelleygirls, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 20

I started feeling this pain on my thigh and it hurt but i thought it would go away i just had some kind a rash within two days it grew triple its size the rash wrapped around my whole thigh i was having a fever and sweating so badly. I went to the hospital where they took me right in. I was in the hospital for three days and it was the worse pain ever!

Comment from: Chozeq, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 19

I was bitten on the hand and wasn't treated but it was like a like a bad case of arthritis that affected my hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder for at least a month. Had a fellow employee bitten who went to hospital and didn't seem to do any better.


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