By Novartis

What is this medication for?

Aldesleukin is one of the groups of cancer-fighting medications known as antineoplastics. Aldesleukin is a man-made (synthetic) drug designed to act like one of the body's natural defense cells known as interleukin-2.

Aldesleukin fights cancer cells by helping the body's natural defense system to seek out and destroy cancer cells. Aldesleukin is used to treat certain types of kidney cancer (metastatic renal carcinoma) and skin cancer (metastatic malignant melanoma).

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Proleukin® is available as:

  • injectable
    • 22 miu/vial
Some medications may have other generic brands available. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safety of switching between brands of the same medication.

How should I use this medication?

Aldesleukin will be injected by a doctor or a health care professional under direct supervision of the doctor in the hospital. The recommended dose of aldesleukin varies according to body weight. Aldesleukin is available as an intravenous into the vein) injection. The medication is injected through a site on the skin that has been prepared for this purpose.

This medication is most often given as an intravenous infusion (a slow injection) over 15 minutes every 8 hours for 14 doses. After a 7-week rest, your doctor will assess your response to the medication. Iit may be necessary to repeat the 28-dose treatment plan again.

As well as attacking cancer cells, aldesleukin can interfere with some of your normal cells. This can cause a number of side effects such as mouth sores. Keep track of any side effects and report them to your doctor as suggested in the section "What side effects are possible with this medication?"

It is important this medication be given exactly as recommended by your doctor. If you miss an appointment to receive aldesleukin, contact your doctor as soon as possible to reschedule your appointment.

Store this medication is stored in the refrigerator and keep it out of the reach of children.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not use this medication if you:

  • are allergic to aldesleukin or any ingredients of the medication
  • have had aldesleukin in the past and experienced abnormal heart rhythms, chest pain with ECG changes, or cardiac tamponade (compression of the heart caused by a build-up of blood or fluid)
  • have had an abnormal thallium stress test
  • have had an organ transplant
  • have had abnormal lung function tests
  • have had stomach bleeding requiring surgery after aldesleukin treatment
  • have experienced repetitive or difficult-to-control seizures after treatment with aldesleukin
  • have suffered bowel perforation or ischemia after aldesleukin treatment
  • needed intubation for more than 72 hours or kidney dialysis for more than 72 hours, or were in a coma for more than 48 hours after treatment with aldesleukin
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The contents of this health site are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition.

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