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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Levamisole Is Still Around, Still Killing People

Posted by on Tue, Jan 24, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Last week, I got a heartbreaking call from a woman in Long Island whose sister had died on January 10. She'd been a longtime cocaine user and was hospitalized just before Thanksgiving with an immune-system freakout that the doctors said had been caused by exposure to levamisole.

"It looked like something out of a science-fiction movie," Christine told me. "She'd broken out all over—under her breast, on her stomach, and all over her legs." (A scary-looking photo Christine sent me of her sister in the hospital is below the jump.)

The doctors warned her to stop using cocaine—but she used again, broke out again, and wound up in the hospital again. Then, in early January, she died. Christine talked to her sister the night before she died. "She was having a hard time breathing, she was hoarse."

Christine googled "levamisole" and "cocaine," found my articles about it, and called because she wanted me to get the word out that this shit is still around and still deadly.

Condolences to all.



Comments (40) RSS

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cocaine should be available for purchase at any 7-11
Posted by Swearengen on January 24, 2012 at 3:10 PM · Report this
I'm sorry, why am I supposed to give a shit? You play Russian roulette, you will eventually blow your brains out.
Posted by Darwin Award on January 24, 2012 at 3:11 PM · Report this
you should give a shit because it's not just junkies and hobo's that do drugs. jeez, learn to have some compassion.
Posted by chimp on January 24, 2012 at 3:40 PM · Report this
How scary and sad.
Posted by Lori E. on January 24, 2012 at 3:46 PM · Report this
SchmuckyTheCat 5
Something never answered is what is the potential effect of Levamisole on recreational users of cocaine compared to addicts? Reading up on the mechanism of Levamisole it appears to cause a crash of white blood cell counts which is quickly (within days) recovered. Is this true?
Posted by SchmuckyTheCat on January 24, 2012 at 3:46 PM · Report this
@2 no one asked you to give a shit. Cocain users and the people who love them give a shit. You can go back to your regularly scheduled sanctimonious programming.
Posted by tacomagirl on January 24, 2012 at 3:50 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 7
Lol, unregistered sure gets a kick out of kicking others. I wonder what his religion is. It obviously adheres to the principle condemning and hating others. An evil religion.
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on January 24, 2012 at 3:57 PM · Report this
The doctors warned her to stop using cocaine—but she used again,

Nuff said.
Posted by Thank You Susanswerphone on January 24, 2012 at 3:57 PM · Report this
"Cocain users and the people who love them give a shit."

Make that into a t-shirt and try selling it.
Posted by Darwin Award on January 24, 2012 at 3:59 PM · Report this
@7 The religion of logic. Put a gun to your head and pull the trigger enough, logic says you're going to blow your brains out.
Posted by Darwin Award on January 24, 2012 at 4:07 PM · Report this

Levamisole can cause neutropenia in two different ways: one is through a direct toxic effect and the other is immune-mediated and poorly understood. In the case of the former, the neutrophil count typically rebounds over a 1-2 weeks. In the case of the latter, duration of immunosuppression/neutropenia is uncertain. I have seen neutrophil counts that have remained low for 1-2 years after initial levamisole exposure. I can't imagine why the immune-mediated neutropenia couldn't occur with "recreational users" compared to addicts. I don't think anyone has rigorously studied this, though.
Posted by some of you are heartless bastards on January 24, 2012 at 4:08 PM · Report this
@7 The religion of logic. Put a gun to your head and pull the trigger enough, logic says you're going to blow your brains out.
Posted by Darwin Award on January 24, 2012 at 4:41 PM · Report this
@11 Sounds awful. Makes you wonder what kind if idiot would put a round into the chamber and put the gun to their own head. Stupidity?
Posted by Darwin Award on January 24, 2012 at 4:43 PM · Report this
Fnarf 14
I love the idea that some here have that people who do stuff that they disapprove of not only deserve to die, but deserve to die horribly, covered with awful sores. Because every crime, every sin, deserves the maximum possible punishment. People who overstay their parking meter should be nailed to a cross; people who are addicted to cocaine should suffer and die. It's such a brave, moral position to hold.
Posted by Fnarf on January 24, 2012 at 4:44 PM · Report this
SchmuckyTheCat 15
@11, thanks and I hope you're not the same troll you're in the middle of.
Posted by SchmuckyTheCat on January 24, 2012 at 4:50 PM · Report this
The last time I did any heavy amount of cocaine, I experienced severe numbness/tingling in my extremities for about 48-72 hours afterwards. I've dabbled in it on and off throughout the years but that experience convinced me of Brendan's claim that adulterated cocaine is the norm, not the exception.
Posted by Horse Apples on January 24, 2012 at 5:18 PM · Report this
@14 Sorry, this is Darwin Award stupidity.

Posted by You always lose Russian Roulette in the end on January 24, 2012 at 5:40 PM · Report this
@16 I'm organizing a Russian Roulette league. Wanna be our mascot?
Posted by Christopher Walken on January 24, 2012 at 5:48 PM · Report this
@14 I certainly don't think the poor women deserved to die, but what she did was incredibly reckless. I have to wonder if she was trying to kill her self.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on January 24, 2012 at 5:50 PM · Report this
I wonder, if my 'hobby' was driving 90mph down side streets, while drinking, could I get some sympathy when I kill myself? Or are stupid, self centered car drivers automatically judged evil?
Posted by Darwin is a bitch ladies on January 24, 2012 at 5:54 PM · Report this
yucca flower 21
Does anyone think the coke is spiked with poison as some sort of weird way to "cure" or frighten addicts off it? Because it seems kinda weird the sellers would kill off their customer base. They're business people of sorts and most like repeat customers.
Posted by yucca flower on January 24, 2012 at 6:06 PM · Report this
@14..... deserve ain't got nothing to do with it.
Posted by But logic does on January 24, 2012 at 6:16 PM · Report this
@21 More proof coke makes you paranoid and stupid.
Posted by I blame the cops! on January 24, 2012 at 6:19 PM · Report this
When people break out the powders, I leave the party. I do not associate with people who use hard drugs. We know these drugs are dangerous. We know people who use them turn into toxic liars. They steal, lie, and become a burden to all who know them. When someone chooses to use hard drugs, they take on all the risks and liabilities. Maybe people wouldn't turn to these poisons if their friends were less tolerant. Hard drugs= deal breaker.
Posted by randomitis on January 24, 2012 at 8:00 PM · Report this
@24 C2H5OH is the hard drug you should really worry about.
Posted by _db_ on January 24, 2012 at 9:32 PM · Report this
sirkowski 26
@21 There's no independent quality control or government regulation for Cocaine.

I remember a libertarian writer on Lew Rockwell's website explaining how organized crime was the ideal of free enterprise.
Posted by sirkowski on January 24, 2012 at 10:29 PM · Report this
db @25. Are we supposed to know what your secret code means ? What is C2H50H ? And why should I worry about it ?
Posted by randomitis on January 24, 2012 at 11:08 PM · Report this
This was my sister whom I loved very much. She didn't deserve to die this way,this story wasent for you assholes to judge my sister but to warn people.
Posted by christinehowell on January 25, 2012 at 12:14 AM · Report this
C2H5OH is sugar. It's the chemical compound.
Posted by chemistry on January 25, 2012 at 4:20 AM · Report this
Nope. C2H5OH is ethanol, the alcohol which gets people drunk (there are lots of other alcohols).

Posted by SpookyCats on January 25, 2012 at 7:35 AM · Report this
YanaBanana 31
@28 I am sorry for your pain. My condolences to you and your family.
Posted by YanaBanana on January 25, 2012 at 7:36 AM · Report this
Greg 32
@29: You are thinking of glucose, C6H12O6. C2H5OH is ethanol, which is legal and therefore heavily regulated. People no longer go blind or die from drinking liquor that is adulterated with methanol, though that was a serious problem during Prohibition.
Posted by Greg on January 25, 2012 at 9:22 AM · Report this
@32 But they deserved it because Alcohol was illegal at the time.
Posted by _db_ on January 25, 2012 at 9:30 AM · Report this
@27 The deadliest drug around.
Posted by _db_ on January 25, 2012 at 9:31 AM · Report this
NaFun 35
@2 et al - If you die in a car accident, you deserve it? It's just Russian Roulette, after all. You knew there was a risk and yet you chose to drive anyway.

To continue the driving safety analogy, under current drug laws it is often illegal to attempt to install your own safety belts, and garage manufacturers of novelty cars are jailed or shot.
Posted by NaFun on January 25, 2012 at 11:24 AM · Report this
Posted by August West on January 25, 2012 at 11:37 AM · Report this
August West @36. Sorry. I guess the chemical compounds for ethanol, glucose, and methanol are totally common knowledge and I'm really ignorant for not knowing one. I guess I should go study up on my chemistry so I can understand blog posts from now on.
Christine, I'm really sorry that your sister died from her regular cocaine use. I guess she wasn't aware that it was tainted with Levamisole . It probably wouldn't have stopped her. My previous post is from the perspective of someone who's fed up with drugs destroying lives. Tired of people taking drug use too casually. Tweakers burned my parent's home down, junkies robbed my house, a coke head embezzeled my friend into bankruptcy. And meanwhile, too many people think it's "just partying" . Well , your story proves that this is serious. Thank you for sharing your experience. I hope it helps someone avoid a similar fate. Condolences.
Posted by randomitis on January 25, 2012 at 5:43 PM · Report this

Ok, for all you people that don’t have a heart and think that you all are bullet proof well think again, January 10th it was my cousin and tomorrow it may be you or someone you most care about, and then who would give a shit. It is ashamed that many of you have no compassion for the family of the victim, but the family had enough compassion to share this story to prevent this from happening to you or someone very dear to you. I think that there should have been more warning advertisements on television or on news papers, all around the world. Regardless to whether a person has or had an addiction or just a weekly habit; this might have saved many lives such as my cousins. You probably think that just because she was a user that she would have ignored the advertisement well your probably right, but who are you to make judgment that was her choice because she and many other people that have died from this deadly drug has family that would have warned them of this deadly drug. You are out there judging, well don’t, she might have had a habit of drugs you can have a sexual habit and get some type of transmitted disease and then what would you say, at least you people are warned and informed about contraceptive she wasn’t informed about the outbreak that has been going on with this drug. I just want to thank the ones that have sent their condolences to the family. All that is requested of this article is to get the word around post it on face book, twitter and any other place that will open people’s eyes to this killer drug. My cousin’s story is to prevent the young teens that are our future to “STOP THE DRUGS DON”T MAKE DRUG DEALERS RICHER” don’t let this be you, your child, brother, sister, parents or anyone you hold close to your heart as we did our cousin and her sister and brother misses her daily so have some compassion for her watch what you write.
Posted by LifeIsShort on January 25, 2012 at 9:54 PM · Report this
reverend dr dj riz 39
@38.. we're not all heartless assholes here.. i know people who use cocaine causally and recreationally . thank you for sharing your story and giving people the heads up about the danger of casual using. in the face of the chorus of insensitive and impersonal feedback i offer gratitude for sharing and wish you and your family strength and healing .
thank you.
Posted by reverend dr dj riz on January 29, 2012 at 6:45 PM · Report this
white people use and sell drugs more than all racial groups combined fucking junkies u all wont last long on the planet
Posted by isaiah454 on October 1, 2013 at 5:59 AM · Report this

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