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Levamisole

Type Other
Legal Status Not Controlled
Levamisole
Veterinary anthelminthic for the treatment of nematode infestations in cattle, sheep and pigs. Levamisole presents as both an oral preparation and an injection. Some oral preparations contain other active ingredients.
Toxicity
Single oral doses are generally well tolerated. Around 1% of patients report nausea and vomiting. Chronic ingestion may result in agranulocytosis and other haematological complications. Accidental self injection of veterinary products may cause a mild local reaction. The main risk is that of extraneous bacterial infection. Levamisole rarely causes symptoms in humans after a single exposure.
Short Term Effects
Adverse effects after a single ingestion are uncommon but may include may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, dizziness and headache. Chronic ingestion may cause hypersensitivity reactions such as fever, a flu like syndrome, arthralgia, myalgia, skin rashes and cutaneous vasculitis. Other effects from chronic exposure may include headache, insomnia, convulsions, haematological abnormalities; agranulocytosis, leucopenia and thrombocytopenia; taste disturbance and GI disturbances.
Long Term Effects
Hepatotoxicity is a possible complication with chronic use (Papageorgiou P et al, 1982, Bulugahapitiya DTD, 1997). Encephalopathy (El Kallab et al, 2003) and leucoencephalopathy have also been reported (Lucia P et al, 1996)