Keywords: levamisole, cocaine, vasculitis, agranulocytosis, heroin (PubMed Search)
Posted: 6/23/2011 by Bryan Hayes, PharmD
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Levamisole is an antihelminthic agent used in humans to treat certain parasitic infections and cancers. It is more commonly used for veterinary purposes. It has recently seen increasing use as a cutting agent for cocaine and heroin, found in up to 70% of cocaine sample seized by the DEA. It adds bulk and weight to powdered cocaine and is even theorized to increase the stimulant effects.
Toxicity of levamisole includes agranulocytosis and vasculitis (see attached document for recent image from NEJM).
Trivia: Levamisole was found in DJ AM and Andrew Koppel (Ted Koppel’s son), who both died of drug overdoses.
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