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Leucovorin (Citrovorum factor, Folinic acid)

How does this medicine work?

Leucovorin (loo-ko-vor-in) is a vitamin that stops the chemotherapy medicine methotrexate from harming normal cells. It is usually given after a high dose of methotrexate.

How should I give it?

Leucovorin is given by mouth as a pill or liquid, or as an injection into a vein, as directed by the doctor.

This medicine must be given on time. If not taken on time, more healthy cell damage occurs from increased side effects of methotrexate. Your child should be awake and alert when taking any medicine.

___ For children who cannot swallow pills:

  1. Crush the tablet in a tablet crusher or between 2 spoons inside a clear plastic bag.
  2. Mix the powder with a very small amount of soft food, such as applesauce, jelly, or chocolate syrup.
  3. Make sure your child takes all of the mixture.

Other instructions:




Are there any precautions about food or other medicines?

Leucovorin may be taken with or without food.

Check with the doctor, nurse practitioner, or pharmacist before giving any other prescription or non-prescription medicines, herbs, or vitamins.

What should I do if a dose is missed?

If one dose is missed, call your provider to determine how the dose should be made up.

If your child throws up within 30 minutes after receiving a dose, give it again. If your child vomits after 30 minutes, call the oncology clinic or your doctor for further instructions.

What are the side effects?

  • mild nausea
  • vomiting
  • allergic reaction:
    • rash, itching
    • redness of the skin

When should I call the doctor?

Call if any side effects occur. If signs of allergic reaction occur, call right away!

What else do I need to know?

You and your child should know the names of all the medicines he or she is taking. It is important to share this information with anyone involved in your child's care.

Always make sure you have enough medicine on hand. Each time you refill your prescription, check to see how many refills are left. If no refills are left, the pharmacist will need 2 or 3 days to contact the doctor to renew the prescription.

Check the label for the expiration date. Bring outdated or extra medicines back to the clinic or pharmacy for disposal. Do not flush them down the toilet. You can throw them in the garbage after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.

If too much or the wrong kind of medicine is taken, call the oncology clinic right away.


This is not specific to your child but provides general information. If you have any questions, please call the oncology clinic or pharmacy.

Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Last reviewed 8/2015 

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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