Helps prevent the side effects of a cancer medicine called methotrexate. Also treats a certain type of anemia caused by a lack of folic acid. Also used in supportive care of patients with colon cancer, and in the treatment of overdoses of certain medicines.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to leucovorin, or if your anemia is caused by a lack of vitamin B-12. Your doctor can determine the exact cause of your anemia through medical tests.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot into a muscle, or into a vein.
- A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. It may also be given by a home health caregiver.
- You may be taught how to give your medicine at home. Make sure you understand all instructions before giving yourself an injection. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine. Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.
If a dose is missed:
- This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- If you store this medicine at home, keep it at room temperature, away from heat and direct light. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date has passed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using a sulfa drug (Bactrim®, Septra®), or medicine for seizures (such as Dilantin®, Luminal®, Mysoline®).
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have lung or kidney disease.
- Your doctor will need to check your blood or urine at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in face or hands, swelling or tingling in the mouth or throat, tightness in chest, trouble breathing
- Lightheadedness or fainting
- Sores, pain, or white patches in your mouth or throat
- Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Hair loss
- Mild nausea or vomiting
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: September 18, 2013