What is the role of levamisole in the development of cocaine toxicity?

Updated: Sep 01, 2018
  • Author: Lynn Barkley Burnett, MD, EdD, LLB(c); Chief Editor: Sage W Wiener, MD  more...
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Answer

The veterinary antihelminthic levamisole has been found as an adulterant in 69%-93% of the cocaine in the United States. [9, 5] Levamisole increases dopamine levels in the same areas of the brain as does cocaine, possibly accounting for its current ubiquity. [10] Neutropenia, agranulocytosis, leukoencephalopathy, and cutaneous vasculitis have been reported following use of cocaine contaminated with levamisole. [10, 9]


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