This leaflet is about the use of levamisole for nephrotic syndrome in children.
This leaflet has been written for parents and carers about how to use this medicine in children. Our information sometimes differs from that provided by the manufacturers, because their information is usually aimed at adult patients. Please read this leaflet carefully. Keep it somewhere safe so that you can read it again.
This medicine may be recommended if your child’s nephrotic syndrome keeps coming back and they need frequent treatment with steroids. Levamisole stimulates the immune system and should reduce the need for steroid treatment.
Levamisole is usually given on alternate days (every other day), for example, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Monday, etc.).
Your doctor will work out the amount of levamisole (the dose) that is right for your child. The dose will be shown on the medicine label.
It is important that you follow your doctor’s instructions about how much to give.
Tablets should be swallowed with a glass of water, milk or juice. Your child should not chew the tablet.
You can crush the tablet and mix it with a small amount of soft food such as yogurt, honey or jam. Make sure your child swallows it straight away, without chewing.
You can also crush the tablet and mix it with water (it will not dissolve but will make a cloudy suspension). Draw up the right volume into an oral syringe to give to your child – you can get these from your pharmacist. Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you how much water to use, and how much of the mixture to give your child. Throw the rest of the mixture away.
Levamisole should prevent or reduce relapses (another episode or bout) of nephrotic syndrome and the need for treatment with steroids. Your doctor will probably suggest that your child takes levamisole regularly for many months, for example 6 months, to see whether it helps them to have fewer relapses.
If your child is sick again, seek advice from your GP, pharmacist or hospital. They will decide what to do based on your child’s condition and the specific medicine involved.
If you remember on the day that the dose is due, give it as soon as you remember, then continue to give levamisole every other day in your usual pattern at the usual time.
If you remember after the day the dose was due, give a dose as soon as you remember. Then continue to give your usual dose every other day from that point.
If you accidently give your child too much levamisole, you are unlikely to do harm. Your child may get an upset stomach, dizziness or a headache.
If you worried that you may have given your child too much levamisole, or your child seems unwell, contact your doctor or local NHS services (111 in England and Scotland; 0845 4647 in Wales). Have the packet with you if you telephone for advice.
We use medicines to make our children better, but sometimes they have other effects that we don’t want (side-effects).
Very rarely, levamisole can causes seizures (convulsions or fits). If your child has a seizure, telephone for an ambulance. Do not restrain your child, but try to make sure that they cannot hurt themselves (e.g. put a cushion under their head and move obstacles away).
Your child may have side-effects when they first start taking levamisole. These usually wear off after a week or so. If they continue to be a problem after 2 weeks, contact your doctor for advice.
There may, sometimes, be other side-effects that are not listed above. If you notice anything unusual and are concerned, contact your doctor. You can report any suspected side-effects to a UK safety scheme at http://www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard.
If you think someone else may have taken the medicine by accident, contact your doctor for advice.
Your child’s doctor, pharmacist or nurse will be able to give you more information about levamisole and about other medicines used to treat nephrotic syndrome.
Version 2, June 2014. © NPPG, RCPCH and WellChild 2011, all rights reserved. Reviewed by: June 2017.
The primary source for the information in this leaflet is the British National Formulary for Children. For details on any other sources used for this leaflet, please contact us through our website, www.medicinesforchildren.org.uk
We take great care to make sure that the information in this leaflet is correct and up-to-date. However, medicines can be used in different ways for different patients. It is important that you ask the advice of your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure about something. This leaflet is about the use of these medicines in the UK, and may not apply to other countries. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), the Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group (NPPG), WellChild and the contributors and editors cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of information, omissions of information, or any actions that may be taken as a consequence of reading this leaflet.