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Drug Guide    W   Wellcovorin

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   Wellcovorin

Wellcovorin
Inj


This medication is used to help prevent the serious, possibly fatal side effects of certain drugs (folate antagonists) during accidental overdose or cancer treatment. Folate antagonist drugs (e.g., trimetrexate, methotrexate) can cause severe decreases in blood cell counts. Leucovorin enters the body cells and protects them from the effects of the folate antagonist. This treatment is often called "leucovorin rescue." Leucovorin may also be used with a certain cancer drug (5-fluorouracil) to prolong survival in patients with advanced colon cancer. In this case, leucovorin works by increasing the treatment effects of 5-fluorouracil.Leucovorin injection may also be used to treat a certain red blood cell problem (folate deficiency anemia) when folic acid cannot be taken by mouth.Leucovorin should not be used to treat another red blood cell problem (megaloblastic anemia due to vitamin B-12 deficiency).

 
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OverviewPhotosHow To UseSide EffectsPrecautionsMissed DoseDrug Interactions
Wellcovorin

Uses
This medication is used to help prevent the serious, possibly fatal side effects of certain drugs (folate antagonists) during accidental overdose or cancer treatment. Folate antagonist drugs (e.g., trimetrexate, methotrexate) can cause severe decreases in blood cell counts. Leucovorin enters the body cells and protects them from the effects of the folate antagonist. This treatment is often called "leucovorin rescue." Leucovorin may also be used with a certain cancer drug (5-fluorouracil) to prolong survival in patients with advanced colon cancer. In this case, leucovorin works by increasing the treatment effects of 5-fluorouracil.Leucovorin injection may also be used to treat a certain red blood cell problem (folate deficiency anemia) when folic acid cannot be taken by mouth.Leucovorin should not be used to treat another red blood cell problem (megaloblastic anemia due to vitamin B-12 deficiency).
Notes
  • Do not share this medication with others.Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., kidney function, blood cell counts, folate antagonist blood levels) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects.
  • Consult your doctor for more details.

Storage
  • Store the US product at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light.Store the Canadian product in the refrigerator between 36-46 degrees F (2-8 degrees C) away from light.Keep all medicines away from children and pets.


How To Use
  • This medication is given by a health care professional in the hospital.
  • It is given by injection into a muscle or slow injection over 3 minutes into a vein.
  • Do not inject leucovorin into the spinal cord fluid.The dose and how often leucovorin is given depend on what condition it is used to treat.
  • For leucovorin rescue with methotrexate, it is usually started 24 hours after the first methotrexate injection.
  • It is given by injection into a vein every 6 hours for at least 10 doses or exactly as directed by your doctor.
  • The dose of leucovorin may be higher if the level of methotrexate in your blood stays higher than usual.Before giving this medication, learn all directions for preparation and use for the specific treatment.
  • Follow all instructions for mixing with the proper injection fluids.
  • Inspect the solution visually for particles or discoloration.
  • If either is present, do not use the liquid.Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it.Tell your doctor immediately if you have a fever, chills, unusual bruising/bleeding, unusual shortness of breath, pale skin, pale/bluish color of lips/nails, or mouth sores.
  • Your doctor may adjust your leucovorin dose.

Side Effects
  • Side effects are rare with leucovorin.
  • Most side effects are due to the other medications used with it.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare.
  • However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing.If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions
  • Before using leucovorin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to folic acid; or if you have any other allergies.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: anemia due to low vitamin B-12 levels (pernicious anemia).Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly who are also taking fluorouracil because they may be more sensitive to the intestinal side effects of fluorouracil when these drugs are used together.A preservative (benzyl alcohol), which might be found in the liquid used to mix this product, can infrequently cause serious (sometimes fatal) problems if given in large amounts (more than 100 milligrams per kilogram daily) to an infant during the first months of life.
  • The risk is also greater with low-birth-weight infants.
  • Symptoms include sudden gasping, low blood pressure, or very slow heartbeat.
  • If you notice any of these symptoms in your newborn, report them to the doctor immediately.
  • If possible, a preservative-free product should be used when treating newborns.During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed.
  • Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk.
  • Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Missed Dose
  • If you miss a dose, tell your doctor or nurse immediately.

Drug Interactions
  • Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them.
  • Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: anti-seizure drugs (phenobarbital, primidone, phenytoin).

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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