More Leucovorin Woes

A September 2nd update from the FDA cites manufacturing delays at Bedford Laboratories and Teva Pharmaceuticals  for leucovorin shortages.

Here at the Colorectal Cancer Coalition, we’re hearing from patients who are not receiving leucovorin during their chemotherapy because it just isn’t available.

Bedford says that they will be releasing some 350 mg and 200 mg vials in September and are working on other presentations.  Teva is allocating 100 mg vials and says that the 350 mg vials are on back-order with an expected release date in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals has supplies of Fusilev® (levoleucovorin).  However, the FDA warns that there is a possibility for dosing errors in substituting Fusilev for leucovorin:

Reminder: There is potential for dosing errors when interchanging leucovorin and levoleucovorin (Fusilev). The dose of levoleucovorin (Fusilev) is one-half the dose of racemic leucovorin injection (e.g., levoleucovorin [Fusilev] 7.5 mg = racemic leucovorin 15 mg)

More information on the leucovorin shortage is available from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).


  1. C. P. says

    I want to know what is causing these so-called “manufacturing delays” other than greed. My husband has stage 4 colon cancer and desperately needs this drug. He received it twice during his first 6 months of chemo and then the doctor was unable to get it. He needs it on this round to prolong his life. We are told that the other drug that they are encouraging replacement with (which is, of course, much more expensive) is not FDA approved for use for colon cancer. They are killing my husband and it is morally inexcusable.

  2. Walker says

    My husband did his first round of 5-FU in this series of treatments on September 14th. No Leucovorin was available. Our oncologist says it’s no big deal, it only has a very minimal value added to the treatment.

  3. MA O'Brien says

    My husband had a treatment on Wednesday and did not receive the leucorvin. They were out of it. That was his 5th treatment and has 7 more to go.

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