Which drug is commonly given as a “rescue” medication to prevent bone marrow suppression and mucosal toxicity from high-dose methotrexate?
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The drug commonly given as a “rescue” medication to prevent bone marrow suppression and mucosal toxicity from high-dose methotrexate is called Leucovorin (also known as folinic acid). Leucovorin is a form of folic acid that helps to rescue normal cells from the toxic effects of methotrexate while allowing the drug to continue its therapeutic effects on cancer cells.
When high doses of methotrexate are administered to treat various malignancies or autoimmune diseases, it can inadvertently affect rapidly dividing normal cells, causing bone marrow suppression and mucosal toxicity. These adverse effects can lead to decreased blood cell production and damage to the digestive tract, respectively.
Leucovorin acts as a “rescue” medication by providing an exogenous source of active folate, bypassing the metabolic pathway targeted by methotrexate. By doing so, Leucovorin helps to counteract the toxic effects of methotrexate on normal cells, particularly those in the bone marrow and mucosal lining.
The timing and dosing of Leucovorin administration depend on factors such as the specific methotrexate regimen, individual patient characteristics, and the indication for treatment. Medical professionals closely monitor patients receiving high-dose methotrexate and adjust the Leucovorin regimen accordingly to maximize its protective effects.
It is vital for medical college students to understand the use of Leucovorin as a rescue medication for mitigating the toxic effects of high-dose methotrexate. This knowledge equips them with the necessary understanding and skills to provide safe and effective care to patients receiving chemotherapy or other therapies involving methotrexate.