This drug is also sometimes called folinic acid or calcium folinate.

Leucovorin is not a chemotherapy drug. However, it is often given as part of chemotherapy. Leucovorin is administered to make the treatment more effective or to reduce side effects.

This information deals with leucovorin when administered alongside drugs such as fluorouracil (5-FU) or methotrexate.

Leucovorin is common given with 5-FU to treat cancers of the colon, rectum, and other parts of the digestive system. It has been proven that adding leucovorin increases the effectiveness of 5-FU. Leucovorin can also be given with the chemotherapy drug tegaful-uracil, which is similar to 5-FU.

Leucovorin is commonly given with methotrexate, which is used to treat many different types of cancer. It is mostly given with high doses of methotrexate and can help reduce side effects. This is sometimes referred to as "folinic acid rescue" or "leucovorin rescue."


Leucovorin is given in the chemotherapy day unit or during a hospital stay. A chemotherapy nurse will give it to you. You will also be able to see a doctor or nurse before having chemotherapy. Chemotherapy drugs may be given in the following ways:

  • Through a thin tube (line) inserted into a vein in the arm or hand by a nurse
  • Through a tube that goes below the skin of your chest to a nearby vein (central line)
  • Through a thin tube that is placed in a vein of the arm and goes up through a vein toward the chest (PICC)

Leucovorin can also be given in tablet form. Before you leave the hospital, your nurse or pharmacist will give you the tablets to take home with you. It is important to take the tablets exactly as explained to you.



Some medicines can interact with leucovorin or be harmful if they are taken alongside leucovorin. This includes medications that can be purchased in a store or pharmacy. Tell your doctor if you are taking any medicines, including over-the-counter drugs, complementary therapies, and herbal remedies.