Levoleucovorin Injection, 175 mg is supplied in a single-dose vial containing 17.5 mL sterile solution. Each mL contains levoleucovorin calcium pentahydrate equivalent to 10 mg levoleucovorin and 8.3 mg sodium chloride.
Levoleucovorin Injection, 250 mg is supplied in a single-dose vial containing 25 mL sterile solution. Each mL contains levoleucovorin calcium pentahydrate equivalent to 10 mg levoleucovorin and 8.3 mg sodium chloride.
Levoleucovorin injection is contraindicated for patients who have had previous allergic reactions attributed to folic acid or folinic acid.
Because of the Ca++ content of the levoleucovorin solution, no more than 16 mL (160 mg of levoleucovorin) should be injected intravenously per minute.
Levoleucovorin injection enhances the toxicity of 5-fluorouracil. Deaths from severe enterocolitis, diarrhea, and dehydration have been reported in elderly patients receiving weekly d,l-leucovorin and 5-fluorouracil. When these drugs are administered concurrently in the palliative treatment of advanced colorectal cancer, the dosage of 5-FU must be lower than usually administered. Although the toxicities observed in patients treated with the combination of levoleucovorin injection and 5-FU are qualitatively similar to those observed with 5-FU alone, gastrointestinal toxicities (particularly stomatitis and diarrhea) are observed more commonly and may be of greater severity and of prolonged duration in patients treated with the combination.
In the first Mayo/NCCTG controlled trial, toxicity, primarily gastrointestinal, resulted in 7% of patients requiring hospitalization when treated with 5-FU alone or 5-FU in combination with 200 mg/m2 of d,l-leucovorin and 20% when treated with 5-FU in combination with 20 mg/m2 of d,l-leucovorin. In the second Mayo/NCCTG trial, hospitalizations related to treatment toxicity also appeared to occur more often in patients treated with the low dose d,l-leucovorin/5-FU combination than in patients treated with the high dose combination – 11% versus 3%. Therapy with levoleucovorin injection and 5-FU must not be initiated or continued in patients who have symptoms of gastrointestinal toxicity of any severity, until those symptoms have completely resolved. Patients with diarrhea must be monitored with particular care until the diarrhea has resolved, as rapid clinical deterioration leading to death can occur. In an additional study utilizing higher weekly doses of 5-FU and d,l-leucovorin, elderly and/or debilitated patients were found to be at greater risk for severe gastrointestinal toxicity.
Seizures and/or syncope have been reported rarely in cancer patients receiving d,l-leucovorin, usually in association with fluoropyrimidine administration, and most commonly in those with CNS metastases or other predisposing factors. However, a causal relationship has not been established.
The concomitant use of d,l-leucovorin with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole for the acute treatment of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in patients with HIV infection was associated with increased rates of treatment failure and morbidity in a placebo-controlled study.
Since clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice. The following table presents the frequency of adverse reactions which occurred during the administration of 58 courses of high-dose methotrexate 12 grams/m2 followed by Levoleucovorin injection rescue for osteosarcoma in 16 patients age 6 to 21. Most patients received levoleucovorin injection 7.5 mg every 6 hours for 60 hours or longer beginning 24 hours after completion of methotrexate.
Table 2 Adverse Reactions with High-Dose Methotrexate Therapy
| Body System/ |
| Number (%) |
of Patients with Adverse Reactions
| Number (%) |
of Courses with Adverse Reactions
(N = 58)
|All||Grade 3+||All||Grade 3+|
|Stomatitis||6 (37.5)||1 (6.3)||10 (17.2)||1 (1.7)|
|Vomiting||6 (37.5)||0||14 (24.1)||0|
|Nausea||3 (18.8)||0||3 (5.2)||0|
|Diarrhea||1 (6.3)||0||1 (1.7)||0|
|Dyspepsia||1 (6.3)||0||1 (1.7)||0|
|Typhlitis||1 (6.3)||1 (6.3)||1 (1.7)||1 (1.7)|
|Dyspnea||1 (6.3)||0||1 (1.7)||0|
|Skin and Appendages|
|Dermatitis||1 (6.3)||0||1 (1.7)||0|
|Confusion||1 (6.3)||0||1 (1.7)||0|
|Neuropathy||1 (6.3)||0||1 (1.7)||0|
|Renal function abnormal||1 (6.3)||0||3 (5.2)||0|
|Taste perversion||1 (6.3)||0||1 (1.7)||0|
|Total number of patients||9 (56.3)||2 (12.5)|
|Total number of courses||25 (43.1)||2 (3.4)|
The incidence of adverse reactions may be underestimated because not all patients were fully evaluable for toxicity for all cycles in the clinical trials. Leukopenia and thrombocytopenia were observed, but could not be attributed to high-dose methotrexate with levoleucovorin injection rescue because patients were receiving other myelosuppressive chemotherapy.
A randomized controlled trial conducted by the North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG) in patients with advanced colorectal cancer failed to show superiority of a regimen of 5-FU + levoleucovorin to 5-FU + d,l-leucovorin in overall survival. Patients were randomized to 5-FU 370 mg/m2 intravenously and levoleucovorin 100 mg/m2 intravenously, both daily for 5 days, or with 5-FU 370 mg/m2 intravenously and d,l-leucovorin 200 mg/m2 intravenously, both daily for 5 days. Treatment was repeated week 4 and week 8, and then every 5 weeks until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. The following table presents the most frequent adverse reactions which occurred in patients in the 2 treatment arms.
Table 3 Adverse Reactions Occurring in ≥ 10% of Patients in Either Arm
|Adverse Reaction||Levoleucovorin injection /5FU n=318||d,l -Leucovorin/5FU n=307|
|Adverse Event N (%)||Grade 1-4||Grade 3-4||Grade 1-4||Grade 3-4|
|Stomatitis||229 (72%)||37 (12%)||221 (72%)||44 (14%)|
|Diarrhea||222 (70%)||61 (19%)||201 (65%)||51 (17%)|
|Nausea||197 (62%)||25 (8%)||186 (61%)||26 (8%)|
|Vomiting||128 (40%)||17 (5%)||114 (37%)||18 (6%)|
|Abdominal Pain1||45 (14%)||10 (3%)||57 (19%)||10 (3%)|
|Asthenia/Fatigue/Malaise||91 (29%)||15 (5%)||99 (32%)||34 (11%)|
|Metabolism and Nutrition|
|Anorexia/Decreased Appetite||76 (24%)||13 (4%)||77 (25%)||5 (2%)|
|Dermatitis||91 (29%)||3 (1%)||86 (28%)||4 (1%)|
|Alopecia||83 (26%)||1 (0.3%)||87 (28%)||3 (1%)|
1 Includes abdominal pain, upper abdominal pain, lower abdominal pain, and abdominal tenderness
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