IL-2 - Aldesleukin Injection

What is this medication?

ALDESLEUKIN (al des LOO kin) treats kidney cancer and skin cancer. It works by slowing down the growth of cancer cells.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Proleukin

What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • Blood problems
  • Heart disease
  • Immune system problems
  • Infection
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Lung disease
  • Mental health conditions
  • Organ transplant
  • Seizures
  • Stomach or intestine problems
  • Thyroid disease
  • Unusual weakness or fatigue
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to aldesleukin, bacterial proteins, mannitol, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

This medication is infused into a vein. It is given by your care team in a hospital or clinic setting.

Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply.

What may interact with this medication?

  • Aminoglycosides
  • Certain medications for blood pressure, such as beta blockers
  • Certain medications for cancer, such as doxorubicin, methotrexate, asparaginase, cisplatin, dacarbazine, tamoxifen
  • Certain medications for depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions
  • Contrast media
  • Interferon alfa
  • Medications for pain, such as pentazocine, buprenorphine, butorphanol, nalbuphine, tramadol, propoxyphene
  • Medications that help you fall asleep
  • NSAIDs, medications for pain and inflammation, such as ibuprofen or naproxen
  • Phenothiazines, such as chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine
  • Steroid medications, such as prednisone or cortisone

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

What should I watch for while using this medication?

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

This medication may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon as chemotherapy can affect healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment even though you feel ill unless your care team tells you to stop.

You may need blood work while taking this medication.

This medication may increase your risk of getting an infection. Call your care team for advice if you get a fever, chills, sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Capillary leak syndrome—stomach or muscle pain, unusual weakness or fatigue, feeling faint or lightheaded, decrease in the amount of urine, swelling of the ankles, hands, or feet, trouble breathing
  • High blood sugar (hyperglycemia)—increased thirst or amount of urine, unusual weakness or fatigue, blurry vision
  • High thyroid levels (hyperthyroidism)—fast or irregular heartbeat, weight loss, excessive sweating or sensitivity to heat, tremors or shaking, anxiety, nervousness, irregular menstrual cycle or spotting
  • Infection—fever, chills, cough, or sore throat
  • Kidney injury—decrease in the amount of urine, swelling of the ankles, hands, or feet
  • Liver injury—right upper belly pain, loss of appetite, nausea, light-colored stool, dark yellow or brown urine, yellowing skin or eyes, unusual weakness or fatigue
  • Low blood pressure—dizziness, feeling faint or lightheaded, blurry vision
  • Low thyroid levels (hypothyroidism)—unusual weakness or fatigue, increased sensitivity to cold, constipation, hair loss, dry skin, weight gain, feelings of depression
  • Stomach pain, unusual weakness or fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever that lasts longer than expected

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

  • Diarrhea
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Pain, redness, or swelling with sores inside the mouth or throat
  • Vomiting
  • Weight gain

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

This medication is given in a hospital or clinic. It will not be stored at home.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

© 2023 Elsevier/Gold Standard (2023-05-09 00:00:00)


Additional Information From Chemocare.com About IL-2

Self-Care Tips:

  • For flu-like symptoms, keep warm with blankets and drink plenty of liquids.  There are medications that can help reduce the discomfort caused by chills.
  • Drink at least two to three quarts of fluid every 24 hours, unless you are instructed otherwise.
  • To help treat/prevent mouth sores, use a soft toothbrush, and rinse three times a day with 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of baking soda or salt mixed with 8 ounces of water.
  • Patients receiving injections under the skin may develop pain and hard bumps at the injection sites.  These reactions are normal.  Pain will go away within minutes, although the bumps may remain for a few months after therapy. Changing the sites of the injections, and using warm or cold compresses are helpful.
  • To reduce nausea, take anti-nausea medications as prescribed by your doctor, and eat small, frequent meals.
  • Avoid sun exposure. Wear SPF 15 (or higher) sunblock and protective clothing.
  • In general, drinking alcoholic beverages should be minimized or avoided.  You should discuss this with your doctor.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • You may be at risk of infection so try to avoid crowds or people with colds, and report fever or any other signs of infection immediately to your healthcare provider.
  • Maintain good nutrition.
  • If you experience symptoms or side effects, be sure to discuss them with your health care team.  They can prescribe medications and/or offer other suggestions that are effective in managing such problems.

When to contact your doctor or health care provider:

Contact your health care provider immediately, day or night, if you should experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing.
  • Dizziness (especially when changing position), sudden swelling or rapid weight gain, little or no urine output (for 8-12 hours), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeats or chest pain.

The following symptoms require medical attention, but are not an emergency.  Contact your health care provider within 24 hours of noticing any of the following:

  • Anxiety, changes in thinking or mood, confusion, difficulty concentrating or trouble sleeping.
  • Diarrhea (more than 4 to 6 episodes in a 24-hour period).
  • Nausea that interferes with eating and is not relieved by medications prescribed by your doctor.
  • Vomiting (more than 4 to 5 episodes within a 24-hour period).
  • Sustained fever (fever lasting/occurring beyond the expected timeframe for dose and schedule).
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising.
  • Black or tarry stools, or blood in your stools or urine.
  • Extreme fatigue (unable to perform self-care activities).

In addition, call your health care provider if any side effects become continuous, serious or your condition worsens.


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