What is leucovorin?

Leucovorin is a form of folic acid. Folic acid helps your body produce and maintain new cells, and also helps prevent changes to DNA that may lead to cancer. Folic acid is present in many foods such as dried beans, peas, oranges, spinach, and others.

Leucovorin is used to reduce the side effects of large doses or accidental overdose of medications that can reduce the effects of folic acid in the body. This includes methotrexate (Rheumatrex), pyrimethamine (Daraprim), trimethoprim (Trimpex, Proloprim), and others.

Leucovorin may also be used to treat anemia (lack of red blood cells) caused by chemotherapy.

Leucovorin may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

Precautions

Do not take leucovorin if you have anemia that is caused by a lack of vitamin B12.

Before taking leucovorin, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease; or
  • lung disease.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to take leucovorin, or you may need to use an injection form of leucovorin (given through a needle placed into a vein).

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether leucovorin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not take this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

There are no restrictions on food, beverages, or activities unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

Back to top

Instructions

An overdose of leucovorin is not likely to cause life-threatening symptoms. However, an overdose can make other medications less effective.

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

If you receive this medication in a hospital, it is not likely that you will miss a dose. If you are taking the medication at home and you miss a dose, call your doctor for instructions.

Back to top

Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Back to top

Interactions

Before taking leucovorin, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • fluorouracil (Adrucil);
  • phenytoin (Dilantin), fosphenytoin (Cerebyx), or ethotoin (Peganone);
  • phenobarbital (Luminal); or
  • primidone (Mysoline).

If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to take leucovorin, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

There may be other drugs not listed that can affect leucovorin. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Other Names

leucovorin

Back to top

Disclaimer

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04

Last updated: