Levamisole (Ergamisol) Controversy

Levamisole, an anthelmintic agent, was first synthesized in 1966 by Janssen Pharmaceutica (Belgium) under the brand name Ergamisol. It was marketed for veterinary use in the United States beginning in 1969, and in some other countries since 1968. Later it was discovered that levamisole has immunostimulatory properties, and it was included in clinical trials for cancer and was shown to be effective in treating patients with some types of colon cancer. Levamisole was approved for human use in the United States in 1990. Although levamisole was originally used as an immunomodulating agent to treat nephrotic syndrome and autoimmune diseases as well as some cancers in humans, other drugs gradually replaced levamisole for these uses (it has not been used in Canada since 2005, for instance).


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