Leucovorin Calcium (Generic Name)

Other Names: Leucovorin, Wellcovorin®, Folinic Acid, Citrovorum Factor

About This Drug

Leucovorin is a vitamin. It is used in combination with other cancer fighting drugs such as 5-fluorouracil and methotrexate. Leucovorin helps 5-fluorouracil kill the cancer cells. It also helps to reduce the side effects of methotrexate. Leucovorin is given in the vein (IV) or by mouth (orally).

Possible Side Effects

  • Rash
  • Wheezing

Leucovorin by itself has very few side effects. Side effects you may have can be caused by the other drugs you are taking, such as 5-fluorouracil or methotrexate.

Allergic Reactions

  • Allergic reactions to this drug are rare. While you are getting this drug by in your vein (IV), please tell your nurse right away if you have any of these symptoms of an allergic reaction:
    • Trouble catching your breath
    • Feeling like your tongue or throat are swelling
    • Feeling your heart beat quickly  or in a not normal way (palpitations)
    • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
    • Flushing, itching, rash, and/or hives
  • If you are taking the oral form of leucovorin and you have these symptoms, do not take another dose of this drug and get urgent medical treatment.

Treating Side Effects

If you get a rash do not put anything on it unless your doctor or nurse says you may. Keep the area around the rash clean and dry. Ask your doctor for medicine if your rash bothers you.

Food and Drug Interactions

There are no known interactions of leucovorin with food. This drug may interact with other medicines. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and others) that you are taking at this time. The safety and use of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often not known. Using these might affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment. Until more is known, you should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor's help.

When to Call the Doctor

  • Call your doctor or nurse right away if you have any of these symptoms:
    • Wheezing or trouble breathing
    • Rash with or without itching, redness, or hives
  • If you take leucovorin by mouth, please also call your doctor right away if you have:
    • Throwing up (vomiting)
    • Loose bowel movements (diarrhea)

Reproduction Concerns

  • Pregnancy warning: It is not known if this drug may harm an unborn child.  For this reason, be sure to talk with your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant while getting this drug.
  • Genetic counseling is available for you to talk about the effects of this drug therapy on future pregnancies. Also, a genetic counselor can look at the possible risk of problems in the unborn baby due to this medicine if an exposure happens during pregnancy.
  • Breast feeding warning: It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk.  For this reason, women should talk to their doctor about the risks and benefits of breast feeding during treatment with this drug because this drug may enter the breast milk and badly harm a breast feeding baby.

Revised November 2014

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