Levamisole for corticosteroid-dependent nephrotic syndrome in childhood. British Association for Paediatric Nephrology

Lancet. 1991 Jun 29;337(8757):1555-7.


In children with corticosteroid-responsive nephrotic syndrome who are dependent on high-dose prednisolone, alkylating therapy often fails to maintain a remission, and long-term immunosuppression may be hazardous. An alternative approach to treatment is to use an immunostimulant such as levamisole. 61 children with frequently relapsing corticosteroid sensitive and dependent nephrotic syndrome were randomly allocated to receive levamisole, 2.5 mg/kg on alternate days (31 patients) or placebo (30 patients) for a maximum of 112 days. After entry to the trial, prednisolone was progressively reduced and was stopped by 56 days. The two groups were well matched for age and sex distribution, indices of corticosteroid toxicity, and previous alkylating therapy. 14 patients in the levamisole group and 4 in the placebo group remained in remission at 112 days (log rank analysis p less than 0.01). No significant adverse events were recorded. Levamisole is effective in maintaining a steroid-free remission in this condition and has few side-effects.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alkylating Agents / administration & dosage
  • Alkylating Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Evaluation
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Levamisole / therapeutic use*
  • Levamisole / urine
  • Male
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / mortality
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / urine
  • Prednisolone*
  • Recurrence
  • Remission Induction / methods
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Time Factors


  • Alkylating Agents
  • Levamisole
  • Prednisolone