Levamisole

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Anti-helmintic agent. Occasionally used as a chemotherapeutic agent, but its side-effect profile and better alternatives, limit its usefulness. It has possible immunomodulatory activity which are exploited in the treatment of juvenile nephrotic syndrome.[1] Significant side effects include an ANCA-positive vasculitis which can be systemic or cutaneous, the latter manifesting as a retiform purpuric skin rash, sometimes with skin necrosis. The other significant side-effect is bone marrow suppression and consequent agranulocytosis.[2] These features may be seen in cocaine users as levamisole is frequently used as 'cutting agent' to bulk up drug cocaine,[3] although levamisole may have its own psychotropic effects. Rat studies suggest it partially mitigates opioid withdrawal.[4]

Reversibly inhibits certain isoforms of alkaline phosphatase, which has application in biomolecular techniques, e.g. Western blotting or immunohistochemistry, where levamisole is added to reduced background alkaline phosphatase activity (where alkaline phosphatase is used instead of peroxidase).

Contents

Clinical Use

Indications

Administration

Oral 120 to 150mg as single dose

Clinical Issues

Contra-indications

Cautions and Interactions

Side effects

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Special advice

Pharmacology

References