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.
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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