Leucovorin is a reduced folic acid ( One of the B vitamins which is a key factor in the synthesis (the making) of nucleic acid (DNA and RNA). It is also used to treat other types of gastrointestinal cancers. Leucovorin has been shown to increase the effectualness of the chemotherapy drug 5FU. Leucovorin is used in combination with other chemotherapy drugs to either flatter effectiveness. Leucovorin is used with either methotrexate (MTX) for the treatment of ectopic pregnancy or fluorouracil (5-FU) for colon or breast cancer. Folic acid is a naturally occurring substance which is vital for the formation of red and white blood cells.
Folic acid is available in many foods such as dried beans, peas, oranges, spinach, and others. Leucovorin is used to reduce the side effects of large doses of medications such as methotrexate (Rheumatrex), pyrimethamine (Daraprim), trimethoprim (Trimpex, Proloprim), and others which may reduce the effects of folic acid in the body. Leucovorin may also be used in the treatment of anemia caused by folic acid inadequacy and with 5-fluorouracil (Adrucil) in the palliative treatment of patients with advanced colorectal cancer.
Leucovorin is also indicated to dwindle the toxicity and counteract the effects of impaired methotrexate elimination. Leucovorin is very well suffered. Folic acid in large amounts may countervailed the antiepileptic effect of phenobarbital, phenytoin and primidone, and increase the frequency of seizures in susceptible children. Most of the intricacy 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 protracts the life span of 5-FU, increasing the anticancer effect. Side effects of Leucovorin is Allergic reaction : rash, itching, facial flushing. Nausea and vomiting. Leucovorin may publicize the toxicity of fluorouracil. Casualties from severe enterocolitis, diarrhea, and dehydration have been reported in elderly patients receiving hebdomadally leucovorin and fluorouracil. Leucovorin Calcium Tablets are betrothed for oral administration. As absorption is permeateable , oral administration of doses greater than 25 mg is not recommended.
Side Effects of Leucovorin
- Allergic reaction.
- Difficulty breathing.
Warnings and precautions before taking Leucovorin
Seizures and/or syncope have been reported occassionally in cancer patients receiving leucovorin. Do not contrive a child (get pregnant) while taking Leucovorin. Barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms, are advised. Do not breast feed while taking Leucovorin. Parenteral administration is favourable to oral dosing if there is a possibility that the patient may vomit or not absorb the leucovorin. Elderly patients are at greaterimperil of developing severe toxicity when treated with the combination of leucovorin plus fluorouracil for the palliative treatment of colorectal cancer.