Levamisole in Dermatology
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- Scheinfeld, N., Rosenberg, J.D. & Weinberg, J.M. Am J Clin Dermatol (2004) 5: 97. doi:10.2165/00128071-200405020-00004
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Levamisole, an anthelmintic agent with a wide range of immunomodulatory actions, has been used successfully as monotherapy and an adjunct to treatment in a variety of diseases. Since 1990, combination therapy of levamisole and fluorouracil has played an important role in the treatment of resected Dukes stage C adenocarcinoma of the colon. Because of its immunomodulating effects levamisole has been used in a wide range of diseases with and without success. In dermatologic disease levamisole has been successfully used in the treatment of parasitic, viral and bacterial infections including leprosy, collagen vascular diseases, inflammatory skin diseases and children with impaired immune a variety of reasons. It has also been used in combination with other drugs for treating a number of dermatologic disorders, e.g. in combination with cimetidine for treating recalcitrant warts, with prednisolone for treating lichen planus, erythema multiforme and aphthous ulcers of the mouth. Adverse affects of levamisole are mild and infrequent and include rash, nausea, abdominal cramps, taste alteration, alopecia, arthralgia, and a flu-like syndrome. It can rarely cause agranulocytosis. More studies need to be undertaken to study the full potential of levamisole in dermatologic diseases.