Meds and you

27 September 2013

Levamisole

Levamisole is an antihelmintic. Antihelmintics are drugs that are used in the treatment of worm infestations.

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Levamisole is the active ingredient of Ergamisol.

General information
Levamisole is an antihelmintic. Antihelmintics are drugs that are used in the treatment of worm infestations.

Levamisole is also used for the treatment of cancer as it interferes with the growth of cancer cells, and slows their growth in the body.

Adverse effects with levamisole are minimal and often related to the dose taken. It is usually self-limiting.

While being treated with this drug, it is advised that you avoid contact with people who have contagious illnesses (such as colds, flu, etc.) and do not receive vaccines that contain live strains of a virus (such as live oral polio vaccine).

The use of alcohol is also not recommended whilst being treated with this medication.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: schedule 4
Available as: levamisole is available as tablets
What does it do? Levamisole is used to treat worm infestations and is also used as immune stimulant.
Overdose risk: low
Dependence risk: low
Is levamisole available as a generic? no
Is levamisole available on prescription only? yes

User information

Stopping this medicine: do not stop using levamisole before you have completed the course prescribed by your doctor.
Prolonged use: levamisole is well tolerated as a single dose for worm infestations, but when used for longer periods as immune-stimulant, side effects are more common.

Special precautions Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • you have epilepsy

  • you have a liver disease

  • you have a bleeding disorder

Pregnancy: avoid. Potential risk to the foetus has been reported. Consult your doctor before use, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.
Breastfeeding: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before use.
Porphyria: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your condition. Consult your doctor before use.
Infants and children: this medication is not intended for use in children.
The elderly: caution is advised in the elderly.

Possible side effects

Side Effect
Frequency
Consult your doctor

Common
Rare
Only if severe
In all cases
diarrhoea

X
X

nausea/vomitting

X
X

headaches

X
X

dizziness

X
X

metallic taste in mouth

X

X
skin rash/itch

X

X
bruising/bleeding

X

X
swelling/difficulty breathing

X

X
speech disturbance

X

X
memory loss

X

X

Interactions

alcohol nausea
corticosteroids risk of developing opportunistic infections
phenytoin risk of phenytoin toxicity
warfarin risk of warfarin toxicity

Disease interactions
Consult your doctor before using this drug if you have epilepsy, a liver disease or if you have a bleeding disorder.

Overdose action
A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose, seek emergency medical attention.

This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.
 
 

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