Use of cocaine laced street drug= Agranulocytosis

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The Centers for Disease Control have confirmed cases of agranulocytosis, a failure of the bone marrow to make enough white blood cells, in individuals who use cocaine laced with the street drug levamisole. According to Monica Brackney, MS, of the New Mexico Department of Health, and others, 21 cases of agranulocytosis have been confirmed within the last two years. The findings, which were reported in the December 18th issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, actually detected levamisole in a minority of the agranulocytosis cases; however, levamisole is a common adulterant in street cocaine. Sellers of street cocaine commonly use levamisole, a veterinarian drug, as well as a variety of other powdery additives to increase their profits; however, the pleasurable effects of levamisole, if any, in combination with cocaine are unknown by the CDC. Levamisole is available as a dewormer for cattle and had been approved for other medicinal uses in humans until being withdrawn from the market in 2000 due to a variety of unwanted side effects. Click here to read an article from TransWorld News that discusses this study more.

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