Treats advanced kidney cancer and skin cancer. This medicine is also called interleukin-2 or IL-2.
ProleukinThere may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
Do not receive this medicine if you have had an unusual or allergic reaction to aldesleukin or interleukin-2. This medicine should not be given to patients with severe heart, liver, kidney, nerve, lung, or stomach problems. You should not receive this medicine if you have an abnormal thallium stress test, abnormal pulmonary function test, or organ allografts.
How to Use This Medicine
- Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
- Your doctor will prescribe your dose and schedule. This medicine is given through a needle placed in a vein.
- You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
If a dose is missed:
- This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or treatment clinic for instructions.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- This medicine may change the way many other medicines work. Some of these are medicines to treat pain, nausea, and anxiety. Give your doctor a list of all the medicines you take, including those you get without a prescription.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you use asparaginase (Elspar®), indomethacin (Indocin®), methotrexate (Folex®, Rheumatrex®), certain medicine to treat an infection (such as amikacin, gentamicin, streptomycin, Amidin®, or Garamycin®), other cancer medicines (such as cisplatin, dacarbazine, doxorubicin, interferon-alfa, tamoxifen, Adriamycin®, Nolvadex®, or Platinol®), or steroid medicines (such as glucocorticoids). Tell your doctor if you also use certain blood pressure medicines, such as atenolol, metoprolol, propranolol, timolol, or Toprol®.
- Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol or if you are using any medicine that makes you sleepy, such as allergy medicine or narcotic pain medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding or if you have kidney problems, liver disease, Crohn disease, diabetes, eye problems, gallbladder problems, high calcium in the blood, low blood pressure, seizures, a thyroid disorder, any infections, or an autoimmune disorders (such as arthritis, lupus, or scleroderma).
- This medicine may make you bleed, bruise, or get infections more easily. Take precautions to prevent illness and injury. Avoid people who are ill, and wash your hands often. Brush and floss your teeth gently, do not play rough sports, and be careful with sharp objects.
- Capillary leak syndrome (CLS) may occur immediately after you receive this medicine. Your doctor will monitor your blood pressure and pulse rate frequently to check for low blood pressure (hypotension).
- Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms that concern you such as unusual drowsiness, tiredness, or weakness or changes in mood or behavior, such as irritability, confusion, or depression after you receive the medicine. These could be signs of serious reactions to this medicine.
- Cancer medicines can cause nausea and/or vomiting in most people, sometimes even after receiving medicines to prevent it. Ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control these side effects.
- Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments. Chest X-rays and certain laboratory tests will be needed before you receive this medicine and to check for side effects.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash
- Blood in your stools or vomit
- Chest pain or fast or uneven heartbeat
- Confusion, irritability, or depressed mood
- Decrease in how much or how often you urinate or painful urination
- Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
- Loss of appetite or stomach pain
- Rapid weight gain
- Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
- Trouble breathing
- Unusual bleeding, bruising, tiredness, or weakness
- Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the needle is placed
- Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat