Leucovorin

Other Names

Folinic acid, citrovorum factor, or 5-formyl tetrahydrofolate. (There may be other names for this medication.)

How is it Administered?

This medication comes as a tablet to be taken by mouth, and a liquid that can be infused through an IV (intravenous) or injected into a muscle (intramuscular or IM injection).

Why Am I Taking Leucovorin?

Leucovorin reduces the side effects of methotrexate and enhances the effects of fluorouracil (5-FU).

How Does Leucovorin Work?

Leucovorin is in a class of medications called folic acid (vitamin B12) analogs. It works by protecting healthy cells from the effects of some drugs, such as methotrexate. In the case of 5FU, it allows that medication to stay in the cells longer. The hope is that 5-FU will have more anticancer effect if it stays in the cancel cells longer.

What Should I Tell My Doctor Before I Begin Receiving Leucovorin?

Tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to leucovorin, or folic acid (Folicet, in multi-vitamins)
  • have anemia (low red blood cell count) caused by lack of vitamin B12 or an inability to absorb vitamin B12
  • have or have ever had kidney disease, or a buildup of fluid in the chest or stomach areas
  • are nauseated
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

This medication may interact with other medications, increasing or decreasing their effectiveness or causing harmful side effects. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about any prescription or over-the-counter medications, vitamins, herbal or diet supplements that you are taking.

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