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Immunoregulation with levamisole

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  • 27 Citations


Levamisole, a simple synthetic chemical, was first introduced as an anthelmintic in human and veterinary medicine. The drug is the first member of a potential new class of immunologically active, possibly thymomimetic compounds. It seems to regulate cell mediated immune reactions by restoring effector functions of peripheral T-lymphocytes and phagocytes and by stimulating precursor T-lymphocytes to differentiate into mature cells. It shares these effects with a number of other immune regulators.

Levamisole was tested in a large number of diseases with suspected immune imbalance. The drug is of therapeutic benefit in certain recurrent and chronic infections where it reduces the frequency, duration, and severity of disease episodes, in recurrent or chronic inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis where it reduces disease activity and delays progression, and in cancer where it prolongs remission and survival following successful cytoreductive therapy.

Its possible mode of action is discussed.

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Correspondence to J. Symoens.

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An extensive description of the immunotherapeutic experience with levamisole is being published in: ‘Drug Profiles: pharmacological and biochemical considerations’, M. E. Goldberg, ed., APhA Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmacology and Toxicology Section (to be published early in 1979)

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Symoens, J., Rosenthal, M., De Brabander, M. et al. Immunoregulation with levamisole. Springer Semin Immunopathol 2, 49–68 (1979).

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  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
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