Alternatives to Levamisole Hydrochloride?

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CanuckFish
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2006 11:51 pm

Alternatives to Levamisole Hydrochloride?

Post by CanuckFish » Sat Sep 30, 2006 12:15 am

Hi! I'm fairly new to fishkeeping (about 1 mo.) and I have a 10g community tank with 4 guppies (originally), 2 platies, 1 dwarf gourami, 1 yo-yo loach, and 1 kuhli loach.

I had a period where I thought there was an ick outbreak, but have been informed as of late that it's more likely a parasite called cammelanus. One guppy had small red hairlike strands coming from his anus. There was one strand, then a few days later two, then three. Eventually he became lethargic and sadly died.

Well I got a new guppy from the LFS (who looked just fine) and the next day what did I see, but a single red strand from his anus (and no I'm not talking about his poop as some have suggested!)

Anyways Diana at Fishgeeks was good enough to refer me to your site and I'm very interested in the levamisole treatment for the parasite. The only problem is that up in Canada where I am, there is very little availability for the stuff. I've got a farm feed specialist looking into finding some for me, but it's looking pretty slim. It appears that the current drug of choice up here is something called Ivermectin, which apparently kills the worms in sheep and swine faster. The problem is that I don't know if this medication can be used in the same way for my fish as levamisole can. The farm feed guy said I could get 400mg packets of piperazine dihydrochloride which he said was 97% pure. Would this work? If so, how would I use it i.e. dosage, duration, water changes, etc.

The guy needs until Monday to get back to me about whether he can get the Tramisol (i.e. levamisole) for me. In the meantime I thought I'd at least try something, so I bought some PraziPro, which I was told is good for flukes, tapeworm, flatworms, and tubellarians. The main active ingredient is <5% praziquantel. The guy at the LFS said the big aquariums (like Marineland in Niagara Falls) use this stuff, and so it should help with internal parasites.

So do you think this PraziPro might fix things up? If it doesn't can I go with Ivermectin or piperazine?

I should point out that all my other fish (besides the guppies) are eating and growing well. I know appearances can be deceptive with internal parasites however.


CanuckFish

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mikev
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Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 6:06 pm
Location: NY

Post by mikev » Sat Sep 30, 2006 12:50 am

Hi,

This is a case of uniquely bad luck : to hit one of the worst problems just one month into the hobby.

Per your questions: there is really no good alternative.

PrazlPro is a wide-range dewormer which is totally ineffective against roundworms. As an experiment, I actually tried very high concentrations of Praziquental on a live nematode -- it did not react in any way. Scrap it, hope you can get your money back.

Ivermectin: in theory should be effective, but I don't think that there is a methodology around that can be followed. Ivermectin is known to be toxic, so experimentation will be quite dangerous. See, for example the footnote here.

Fenbendazole: in theory should be effective. I'm aware of cases where correct application of fenbendazole failed and claims that it is actually effective; if you absolutely cannot get levamisole, explore in this direction.

The best course of action is to get levamisole *somehow* and asap. Possibly you have a friend in the US who can get it for you, possibly some levamisole-based dewormer designed for a different animal is available in Canada. is Avitrol available? Look here:
http://www.guppylog.com/story/2004/1/3/23335/65247
I should point out that all my other fish (besides the guppies) are eating and growing well. I know appearances can be deceptive with internal parasites however.
For nematodes capable of direct reproduction the infection affects the entire tank. Unless treated, chances of a total wipeout are pretty high. Note that it takes some time for the worms to mature, on the order of 2-3 weeks, so the disease may take a fairly long time to kill every fish.

The appearance of worm in a new guppy sounds a bit strange to me. Most likely this means that all guppies at your lfs are infected, and possibly much of their other fish. The fact that they are apparently aware of the problem and are still selling is troublesome.

One thing that you absolutely must not do is to bring any new fish into this. You need to handle the disease first.

hth

Spyder
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 11:12 am

Post by Spyder » Sat Sep 30, 2006 7:09 am

This is were I get Levamisole from:
http://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.html ... b0d0204ae5
I have it shipped priority and get it is 2 - 3 days.

HTH, Michael
Michael

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shari2
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Location: USA

Post by shari2 » Sat Sep 30, 2006 7:40 am

I get mine at valleyvet too. But I don't know if they will ship across the border to canada. It is worth a call, though.

Here is the saga of an aquarist in BC that had camallanus worms. The ultimately successful treatment he used is near the bottom of the story.

http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:7m ... clnk&cd=10

He could not get levamisole HCl, but he did find something that worked. I'll let you read it. 8)
hth

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mikev
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Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 6:06 pm
Location: NY

Post by mikev » Sat Sep 30, 2006 12:31 pm

An interesting story.

His solution was Fenbendazole. As I've written above, it may or may not work, I know of failures too, including a total wipeout. Still, it is the best shot if Levamisole cannot be obtained.

CanuckFish
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2006 11:51 pm

Levamisole alternatives - update

Post by CanuckFish » Sun Oct 01, 2006 12:07 am

Thanks for all your help! To give an update I called every vet, farm feed supplier, exotic pet shop, etc. in the Toronto area and was getting pretty desperate as no one seemed to have either Levamisole/Tramisol or Avitrol. There was one vet though that asked me to bring in the guppy with the nematode projecting from him. After taking the history and examining the guppy (and reading some of these posts by the way), she stated there were only two treatment courses available to her: Ivermectin or Fenbendazole. She stated that too little is known about the usage of Ivermectin for fish, so the Fenbend would be a wiser choice. She's prescribed three, 1 week doses of the drug to treat the whole tank, with large water changes prior to the second and third doses. She liked my idea of starting the first dose in half initially, with the remainder of the dose 12 hr later (for the loaches' sake in case of sensitivity).

Its encouraging to see in your posts that some have had success with the Fenbend. I certainly hope it works in my case as I appear to have little choice. I'm starting the first dose Sunday am. I thought I'd do a big water change first and try to get as much of the Prazi stuff out of the tank in preparation. I hope this stuff works quickly, another guppy died today and I could see the worm exiting his body. I've got both the worm and the body preserved in a baggy in the freezer for future autopsy if needed. Hopefully the body count won't rise any further.


CanuckFish :cry:

Gerry22
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:42 am

Re: Alternatives to Levamisole Hydrochloride?

Post by Gerry22 » Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:56 pm

Levamisole refers to Levo tetramisole, it is the Levo Isomer of tetramisole. It can selectively inhibit succinate dehydrogenase in parasite’s muscle so as to stop the reduction of succinic acid from fumaric acid. Therefore the parasite’s muscle metabolism lacks of oxygen and leads to decreasing of energy.
L-isomer is active against helminthes with 1-2 times higher active efficiency and lower toxic and side effects than tetramisole. It is a broad spectrum anthelmintic with a very good activity against roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and strongyloises stercoralis. It is an immunomodulator and has effect on rheumatic disorders.

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