The drug Reptilase contained a haemostatic enzyme obtained from snake poison, precisely the venom from the snake Bothrops jararaca which is a highly venomous South American pit viper species. The haemorrhagic fraction of B. jararaca venom displays potent fibrinogenolytic activity and an inhibitory effect on collagen-induced platelets aggregation in rats. The coagulase enzyme was used to reduce bleeding in patients after plastic surgery or for the treatment of other types of hemorrhages. It was also used as a hemostatic prophylaxis in tonsillectomies. This hemocoagulase was useful to promote the coagulation process and to correct coagulation abnormalities in patients with bleeding disorders, including hemophilic individuals.
Reptilase is a liquid product, in 1ml ampules each containing 1 Klobusitzky unit (KU), for intravenous or transcutaneous local injection (intramuscular). One KU is defined as the amount of enzyme which coagulates standard human plasma incubated at 37C in vitro within 60 seconds. The name derives from Dionysio von Klobusitzky, a pioneer of paper electrophoresis who suceeded to isolate the substance (Bothropothrombin) which accelarated blood coagulation from the venom, in the 1930-40s.
The name Reptilase® derives from the snake Bothrops jararaca (member of the reptile family) and the enzyme (terminology “ase”) at the origin of the product.