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Aldesleukin Solution for injection

It is usually used for advanced renal cell cancer or for advanced melanoma

Generic Name: aldesleukin

Brand Names: Proleukin

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.

    Cardiac and Pulmonary Function
  • Use only in patients with normal cardiac and pulmonary function as defined by thallium stress testing and pulmonary function tests. Use with extreme caution in patients with histories of cardiac or pulmonary disease even if thallium stress and pulmonary function test results are normal. (See Toxicity and Adequate Patient Monitoring under Cautions.)
    Experience of Supervising Clinician
  • Use in hospital setting under supervision of a qualified clinician experienced in therapy with antineoplastic agents. Use only when an intensive care facility and specialists skilled in cardiopulmonary or intensive care medicine are available in case aldesleukin-induced toxicities develop.
    Capillary Leak Syndrome
  • Risk of developing capillary leak syndrome (CLS); characterized by a loss of vascular tone and extravasation of plasma proteins and fluid into extravascular space. Results in hypotension and reduced organ perfusion; may be severe or fatal. CLS may be associated with cardiac arrhythmias (supraventricular and ventricular), angina, MI, respiratory insufficiency requiring intubation, GI bleeding or infarction, renal insufficiency, edema, and mental status changes. (See Capillary Leak Syndrome under Cautions.)
  • Possible impaired neutrophil function (reduced chemotaxis) and increased risk of disseminated infection, including sepsis and bacterial endocarditis. Treat preexisting bacterial infections prior to initiation of therapy. Patients with indwelling central lines are at a higher risk for gram-positive bacterial infections. Prophylaxis with oxacillin, nafcillin, ciprofloxacin, or vancomycin associated with a reduced incidence of staphylococcal infections.
    CNS Effects
  • Withhold administration if moderate-to-severe lethargy or somnolence develops; continued administration may result in coma. (See CNS Effects under Cautions.)

What is this medicine?

ALDESLEUKIN, IL-2 (al des LOO kin) is a chemotherapy drug. It is usually used for advanced renal cell cancer or for advanced melanoma. It is sometimes used for other cancers.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • blood problems
  • extreme tiredness
  • fever or infection
  • heart, lung, kidney, or liver disease
  • immune system problems
  • mental disorders
  • organ transplant
  • seizures
  • stomach problems
  • thyroid problems
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to aldesleukin, bacterial proteins, mannitol, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for injection into a vein but can also be injected under the skin. It is given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • aminoglycosides
  • contrast media
  • interferon alfa
  • medicines for cancer like doxorubicin, methotrexate, asparaginase, cisplatinum, dacarbazine, and tamoxifen
  • medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
  • medicines for blood pressure like beta blockers
  • medicines for pain including pentazocine, buprenorphine, butorphanol, nalbuphine, tramadol, and propoxyphene
  • medicines for sleep
  • NSAIDs, medicines for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
  • phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, and thioridazine
  • steroid medicines like prednisone or cortisone

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medicine.

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. You will need frequent blood checks.

Try to avoid people who are sick. If you get a cold or other infection while receiving this medicine, call your doctor or health care professional. Do not treat yourself. The medicine may decrease your body's ability to fight infections.

The medicine may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon. Tell your doctor or health care professional about any side effects or problems you develop.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • changes in vision
  • chest pain, fast or irregular heartbeat
  • confusion, agitation, anxiety, or hallucinations
  • difficulty breathing, wheezing
  • dizziness, fainting spells
  • fever, chills, cough, or sore throat
  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
  • reduced urine output or dark yellow or brown urine
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual swelling, especially of the face, feet, or ankles
  • unusually weak or tired
  • vomiting
  • yellowing of eyes and skin

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • diarrhea
  • drowsiness
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • sore mouth
  • stomach pain

Where should I keep my medicine?

This drug is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: March 10, 2009
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