Generic Name: levamisole (leave AH mih sole)
Brand Name: Ergamisol
What is levamisole?
Levamisole is a cancer (antineoplastic) medication. Levamisole interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread in the body.
Levamisole is used in the treatment of colon cancer.
Levamisole may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about levamisole?
Serious side effects have been reported with the use of levamisole including: allergic reactions (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives); decreased bone marrow function or blood problems (fever or chills; or signs of infection); nervous system problems (confusion or loss of consciousness, extreme fatigue, memory loss, muscle weakness, numbness or tingling; seizure, speech disturbances); and others. Talk to your doctor about the possible side effects from treatment with levamisole.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking levamisole?
Do not use levamisole without first talking to your doctor if you have
a seizure disorder;
a bleeding or blood clotting disorder; or
poor bone marrow function.
The use of levamisole may be dangerous if you have any of the conditions listed above.
Levamisole is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is unknown whether it will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not use levamisole without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. Discuss with your doctor the appropriate use of birth control during treatment with levamisole if necessary.
It is not known whether levamisole passes into breast milk. Do not take levamisole without first talking to your doctor if you are breast feeding a baby.
How should I use levamisole?
Take levamisole exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.
Take each dose by mouth with a full glass of water.
Your doctor will determine the correct amount and frequency of treatment with levamisole depending upon the type of cancer being treated and other factors. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns regarding the treatment schedule.
Your doctor may want you to have blood tests and other medical evaluations during treatment with levamisole to monitor progress and side effects.
Your healthcare provider will store levamisole as directed by the manufacturer. If you are storing levamisole at home, follow the directions provided by your healthcare provider.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Contact your doctor if you miss a dose of levamisole.
What happens if I overdose?
If for any reason an overdose of levamisole is suspected, seek emergency medical attention or contact your healthcare provider immediately.
Symptoms of a levamisole overdose tend to be similar to side effects caused by the medication, although often more severe.
What should I avoid while using levamisole?
Levamisole can lower the activity of your immune system making you susceptible to infections. Avoid contact with people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses and do not receive vaccines that contain live strains of a virus (e.g., live oral polio vaccine) during treatment with levamisole. In addition, avoid contact with individuals who have recently been vaccinated with a live vaccine. There is a chance that the virus can be passed on to you.
Alcohol should be avoided or used with caution while taking levamisole. Flushing, nausea, vomiting, headache, swelling, and rashes have occurred when alcohol has been used during treatment with levamisole.
Levamisole side effects
If you experience any of the following serious side effects from levamisole, seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:
an allergic reaction (including difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
decreased bone marrow function or blood problems (extreme fatigue; or fever, chills, or signs of infection); or
nervous system problems (confusion or loss of consciousness, extreme fatigue, memory loss, muscle weakness, numbness or tingling; seizure, speech disturbances).
Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue taking levamisole and talk to your doctor if you experience:
nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite;
sores in the mouth or on the lips; or
rash and itching.
Other side effects have also been reported. Discuss with your doctor any side effect that occurs during treatment with levamisole.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Levamisole dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Malignant Disease:
50 mg orally every 8 hours for 3 days (starting 7-30 days post-surgery). May be given as maintenance therapy for 3 days at 2 week intervals for 1 year.
What other drugs will affect levamisole?
Before using levamisole, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following:
phenytoin (Dilantin, others); or
You may not be able to take levamisole, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking any of the medications listed above.
Do not receive "live" vaccines during treatment with levamisole. Administration of a live vaccine may be dangerous during treatment with levamisole.
Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with levamisole. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products, during treatment with levamisole.
Where can I get more information?
- Your healthcare provider may have additional information about levamisole that you may read.
What does my medication look like?
Levamisole is available with a prescription under the brand name Ergamisol. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
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