Leucovorin Calcium (Generic Name)

Leucovorin, Wellcovorin®, Folinic Acid, Citrovorum Factor (Other Names)

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 intravenously (IV) or orally (by mouth).

Possible Side Effects

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.

  • Rash with or without itching, redness, or hives
  • Wheezing

Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions to this drug are rare. While you are receiving this drug by IV, tell your nurse immediately if you have any of the following symptoms of an allergic reaction:

  • Difficulty catching your breath
  • Feeling like your tongue or throat are swelling.
  • Feeling your heart beat rapidly (palpitations)
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Flushing/itching/rash/hives

If you are taking the oral form of leucovorin and you have these symptoms, do not take another dose of this drug and seek immediate medical treatment.

Reproduction Concerns

  • Pregnancy warning: It is not known if this drug may have harmful effects on the unborn child. If this reason, be sure to speak with your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant while receiving this drug.
  • Genetic counseling is available to you to discuss the potential risks of problems in the fetus due to this medication if an exposure during pregnancy has occurred.
  • Breast feeding warning: It is not known if this drug is safe for breast feeding. Speak with your doctor if you are considering breast feeding while you are on this drug.

Treating Side Effects

Do not put anything on your rash unless your doctor or nurse says you may. Keep the area around the rash clean and dry. Ask your doctor for medication if your rash is bothersome.

Food and Drug Interactions

There are no known interactions of leucovorin with food. This drug may interact with other medication. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medication and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and others) that you are currently taking. The safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often unknown. Using these might unexpectedly 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 advice.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting (if you take leucovorin orally)
  • Diarrhea (if you take leucovorin orally)
  • Wheezing
  • Rash with or without itching, redness, or hives

Revised February 2013

©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com