Levamisole in Nephrotic Syndrome
Steroid sensitive nephrotic syndrome is one of the most common pediatric glomerular diseases. Unfortunately, it follows a relapsing and remitting course in the majority of cases, with 50% of all cases relapsing once or even more often. Most children with idiopathicnephrotic syndrome respond initially to steroid therapy, nevertheless repeated courses for patients with relapses induce significant steroid toxicity. Patients with frequent relapses or steroid dependency thus require alternative treatment, such as cyclophosphamide, cyclosporine, tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil, levamisole, or rituximab. To reduce the relapse rate, several drugs have been used. Among these, levamisole has been considered the least toxic and least expensive therapy. Several randomized controlled trials (RCT) showed that levamisole is effective in reducing the relapse risk in steroid sensitive forms of nephrotic syndrome with a low frequency of side effects. Levamisole is a synthetic imidazothiazole derivative with immune-modulatory properties.