Levamisole Hydrochloride is an anthelmintic agent, active against intestinal nematode worms. It acts by paralyzing the worms which are then eliminated from the intestines. The paralysis is produced by a ganglion-stimulating effect in the nematodes
Levamisole is rapidly absorbed from the gastro-intestinal tract and eliminated from the plasma. It is extensively metabolized in the liver by p-hydroxylation. Elimination, mainly of the p-hydroxylated metabolite conjugated with glucoronic acid, is virtually complete via the urine and faeces, within 2 days of a dose.
Levamisole is very effective against Ascaris lumbricoides (roundworms) where it is considered to be the drug of choice. It is also used in hookworm infections (Ancylostoma duodenale & Necator americanus).
Levamisole has also shown some effect against Enterobius vermicularis (Pinworm, threadworm), Trichuris trichiura
Dosage: as a single dose
Children: 1-5 years: one tablet
5-15 years: two tablets
Adults: 3 tablets
Children: 1-5 years: 5ml (one teaspoonful)
5-15 years 10ml (two teaspoonfuls)
Adults: 15 ml (three teaspoonfuls)
When given as a single dose Levamisole is well tolerated with side effects being limited to gastrointestinal disturbances such as nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Dizziness, headaches and skin rash may also occur. Blood disorders like agranulocytosis, neutropenia, leucopenia and thrombocytopenia may occur.
Levamisole is contraindicated in patients with advanced liver or kidney disease and in patients with blood disorders.