The reference site for Leucovorin

Folinic acid, also known as leucovorin, is a medication used to decrease the toxic effects of methotrexate and pyrimethamine.

WHAT IS Leucovorin?

Leucovorin is a drug that can be used either to protect healthy cells from chemotherapy or to enhance the anti-cancer effect of chemotherapy.

This medicine is most often used in cancer patients who are taking either methotrexate or fluorouracil chemotherapy. Methotrexate is used to treat a wide range of cancers including breast cancer, head and neck cancers, acute leukemias, and Burkitt’s lymphoma. When leucovorin and methotrexate are used together, this therapy is often called leucovorin rescue because leucovorin rescues healthy cells from the toxic effects of methotrexate.

Fluorouracil, on the other hand, is used in combination with leucovorin to treat colorectal cancer. In patients with colorectal cancer, however, leucovorin increases the anti-cancer effect of fluorouracil.

Leucovorin is also used to treat megaloblastic anemia, a blood disorder in which red blood cells become larger than normal, and to treat accidental overdoses of drugs like methotrexate.

 

Brand Name(s): Wellcovorin; Citrovorum Factor; Folinic Acid
CAS nº: 1492-18-8
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Product Info

The sections below will provide you with more specific information and guidelines related to leucovorin and its correct use. Please read them carefully.

FDA Information

The FDA originally approved leucovorin in 1952. This drug is FDA approved to prevent or reduce side effects caused by the chemotherapy agent methotrexate, and is commonly used to enhance the effectiveness of the chemotherapy agent fluorouracil (5-FU).

Please visit the official site of the FDA for further information.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Leucovorin is a drug that can be used either to protect healthy cells from chemotherapy or to enhance the anti-cancer effect of chemotherapy.

This medicine is most often used in cancer patients who are taking either methotrexate or fluorouracil chemotherapy. Methotrexate is used to treat a wide range of cancers including breast cancer, head and neck cancers, acute leukemias, and Burkitt’s lymphoma. Fluorouracil is used in combination with leucovorin to treat colorectal cancer. When leucovorin and methotrexate are used together, this therapy is often called leucovorin rescue because leucovorin rescues healthy cells from the toxic effects of methotrexate. In patients with colorectal cancer, however, leucovorin increases the anti-cancer effect of fluorouracil.

Leucovorin is also used to treat megaloblastic anemia, a blood disorder in which red blood cells become larger than normal, and to treat accidental overdoses of drugs like methotrexate.

Other uses for this medicine

Leucovorin is also used in combination with the chemotherapy 5-fluorouracil in treating colon cancer. In this case, folinic acid is not used for “rescue” purposes. Rather, folinic acid enhances the effect of 5-fluorouracil on inhibiting thymidylate synthase.

Leucovorin is also sometimes used to prevent toxic effects of high doses of antimicrobial dihydrofolate reductase inhibitors such as trimethoprim and pyrimethamine.

Dosage and using this medicine

It is important that you take leucovorin exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to explain them to you.

Leucovorin is available as a tablet for oral administration. It is also available as a solution for intravenous (into a vein) or intramuscular (into a muscle) injection by a healthcare provider.

Take each oral dose with a full glass of water.

Do not take doses larger than 25 mg by mouth unless your doctor directs otherwise.

Take leucovorin only under the supervision of your doctor.

What special precautions should I follow?

BEFORE TAKING LEUCOVORIN:

Please inform your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines: phenytoin (Dilantin®, Phenytek®), fosphenytoin (Cerebyx®), ethotoin (Peganone®); phenobarbital (Luminal®); or primidone (Mysoline®). You may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment.

Moreover, do not use leucovorin without first talking to your doctor if you have: anemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency; a history of seizures or central nervous system (CNS) problems (e.g., CNS metastases) that may increase the risk of seizures; mouth sores (stomatitis or mucositis); or vomiting or diarrhea. You may not be able to take leucovorin, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you suffer from any of the above symptoms.

Leucovorin is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether leucovorin will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.

Additionally, it is not known whether leucovorin passes into breast milk. Do not take leucovorin without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Notify your doctor if you miss a dose of oral or injectable leucovorin.

What side effects can this medication cause?

If you experience any of the following symptoms when taking leucovorin, call your doctor immediately:

an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives)
vomiting, diarrhea, or mouth sores
seizures
fainting

No other side effects have been reported from the use of leucovorin alone. Side effects are usually caused by the patient’s chemotherapy, not by leucovorin.

What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?

Always remember to keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).

Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. If you have any doubts, please talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of an emergency/overdose

An overdose of leucovorin is unlikely to threaten your life.

An overdose of leucovorin may decrease the desired effect of other medications (e.g., folic acid antagonists) you are taking. Furthermore, symptoms of a leucovorin overdose are not known.

Call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 if an overdose is suspected.

Product Images

PICTURES OF LEUCOVORIN PRODUCTS

Below you will find images and specific information on the principal types of leucovorin that exist, including their respective brand name(s), strength, inscription codes, manufacturers and/or distributors.

The information below includes general information and guidelines for patients taking this medication and should never be used to substitute professional medical advice that can be provided by a qualified physician or family doctor.

Name: LEUCOVORIN
Strength(s): 50 MG
Imprint: LEUCOVORIN CALCIUM
Manufacturer: LEDERLE.

Name: LEUCOVORIN
Strength(s): 50 MG
Imprint: LEUCOVORIN CALCIUM
Manufacturer: BEDFORD LABS.

Name: LEUCOVORIN
Strength(s): 100 MG
Imprint: LEUCOVORIN CALCIUM
Manufacturer: BEDFORD LABS.

Name: LEUCOVORIN
Strength(s): 500 MG
Imprint: LEUCOVORIN CALCIUM
Manufacturer: BEDFORD LABS.

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