Leucovorin comes in intravenous (IV), intramuscular (IM) injection
(shot), and oral form.
Leucovorin is a derivative of folic acid. Leucovorin works
differently depending on whether it is used with
methotrexate (MTX) or
Leucovorin is used with either methotrexate (MTX) for the treatment
ectopic pregnancy or fluorouracil (5-FU) for cancer treatment.
Most of the complications and side effects of methotrexate can be
either prevented or treated by using leucovorin, which is usually given 24
hours after the methotrexate is given.
Leucovorin enhances the binding of fluorouracil (5-FU) and prolongs
the life span of 5-FU, increasing the anticancer effect.1
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you have:
Call your doctor if you have:
Common side effects of this medicine when used with high-dose methotrexate or 5-FU include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference
is not available in all systems.)
Leucovorin is very well tolerated and has almost no side effects of
Leucovorin generally decreases the severity of side effects of methotrexate (MTX).
It can increase the severity of the side effects of 5-FU when used with that
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant. If you need to use this medicine, talk to your doctor about how you can prevent pregnancy.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
CitationsMeyerhardt JA, Mayer RJ (2005). Systemic therapy for
colorectal cancer. New England Journal of Medicine,
August 27, 2012
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Kenneth Bark, MD - Surgery, Colon and Rectal
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