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Q: folinic acid supplement ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: folinic acid supplement
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: jojomama-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 11 May 2005 15:14 PDT
Expires: 10 Jun 2005 15:14 PDT
Question ID: 520600
Is there any harm in taking a folinic acid (not folic acid) supplement?
Subject: Re: folinic acid supplement
Answered By: welte-ga on 11 May 2005 18:26 PDT
Dear jojo,

Folinic Acid (better known as Leucovorin), is usually used as an
adjuvant in chemotherapy to counter the effects of methotrexate. 
Leucovorin by itself usually has no side effects, however if you have
no indication to take the medication, I would not recommend subjecting
oneself to any possible side effects, however rare.  Leucovorin is
available only by prescription in the US.

Here is some side effect information from

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted
effects. Leucovorin usually does not cause any side effects.

However, check with your doctor immediately if any of the following
side effects occur shortly after you receive this medicine:


Skin rash, hives, or itching; wheezing

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if the following side effect occurs:

Rare-reported with use in treatment of cancer

Convulsions (seizures)

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients.
If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.


Here is the full page:


Request for Answer Clarification by jojomama-ga on 11 May 2005 20:38 PDT
I had already found the adverse effects on the internet.  What I am
trying to find out is whether taking a folinic acid supplement would
create an imbalance of other vitamins.  I realize it is a water
soluble vitamin and any excess would be excreted, but I am trying to
determine other possible effects.

Clarification of Answer by welte-ga on 12 May 2005 16:49 PDT
A typical dose of folinic acid, usually about 15mg, but depends on
what methotrexate dose the patient is taking, there are no clinically
significant effects on other vitamins.  The only issue related to
vitamins and folinic acid (as well as folic acid) is that it is
contraindicated in the treatment of megaloblastic anemia.  This is
because while the folic acid will correct the megaloblastic anemia,
B12 deficiency is also associated with a neurological deterioration,
which the folinic (or folic) acid will not correct.

As I previously noted, however, there are significant potential side
effects and potential hazards (including potential allergic
sensitization and anaphylactic reaction).  Here is more information

Also, it's unknown whether or not folinic acid ingestion can have any
harmful effect in pregnant women.

The Univ. of Pennsylvania patient education page can be found here:

I hope this was helpful.

There are no comments at this time.

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