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Levoleucovorin

Generic Name: levoleucovorin (LEE voe LOO koe voe rin)
Brand Name: Fusilev

Medically reviewed on April 4, 2017

What is levoleucovorin?

Levoleucovorin is used to treat or prevent toxic effects of methotrexate in people who have received methotrexate to treat bone cancer.

Levoleucovorin is also used to treat or prevent toxic effects of methotrexate in people whose bodies do not eliminate methotrexate properly after the drug is metabolized. Levoleucovorin may also be used to treat toxic effects of an accidental methotrexate overdose.

Levoleucovorin is also used in combination chemotherapy with fluorouracil to treat colorectal cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. Levoleucovorin treats only the symptoms of colorectal cancer but does not treat the cancer itself.

Levoleucovorin should not be used to treat anemia that is caused by a lack of vitamin B12.

Levoleucovorin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

You should not be treated with this medicine if you are allergic to levoleucovorin or to folic acid or folinic acid.

Before taking this medicine

You should not be treated with this medicine if you are allergic to levoleucovorin, folic acid, or folinic acid.

If possible, before you receive levoleucovorin, tell your doctor or caregivers if you have:

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It is not known whether levoleucovorin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using levoleucovorin.

In an emergency situation it may not be possible to tell your caregivers if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Make sure any doctor caring for your pregnancy or your baby knows you have received this medicine.

How is levoleucovorin given?

Levoleucovorin is injected into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

For methotrexate toxicity, levoleucovorin is usually given every 6 hours for 10 doses. You will most likely receive your first dose 24 hours after the start of your methotrexate infusion, or as soon as possible within the first 24 hours after accidental overdose.

For colorectal cancer levoleucovorin is usually given daily as a 5-day treatment, repeated every 4 to 5 weeks.

After treatment with levoleucovorin, you will be watched to make sure this medicine has been effective and you no longer have any effects of methotrexate.

You will need frequent medical tests to help your doctor determine how long to treat you with levoleucovorin.

What happens if I miss a dose?

If this medication is given by a healthcare professional in an clinical setting, you are not likely to miss a dose.

If you are receiving levoleucovorin daily in 4-week treatment cycles, call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your scheduled injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while receiving levoleucovorin?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Levoleucovorin side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell your doctor or caregivers at once if you have:

  • blisters or ulcers in your mouth, red or swollen gums, trouble swallowing;

  • severe ongoing nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea;

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • seizure (convulsions);

  • dehydration symptoms--feeling very thirsty or hot, being unable to urinate, heavy sweating, or hot and dry skin; or

  • kidney problems--little or no urination; painful or difficult urination; swelling in your feet or ankles.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting;

  • diarrhea; or

  • mouth sores.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect levoleucovorin?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with levoleucovorin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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