Generic Name: levamisole (leave AH mih sole)Brand Names: Ergamisol
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.
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.
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.
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.
Contact your doctor if you miss a dose of levamisole.
Symptoms of a levamisole overdose tend to be similar to side effects caused by the medication, although often more severe.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.