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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Ontak

Generic Name: denileukin diftitox (Pronunciation: de ni LOO kin DIF ti tox)

What is denileukin diftitox (Ontak)?

Denileukin diftitox is a designed protein containing toxins that attach themselves to certain types of malignant cells in the body. Denileukin diftitox works by destroying these malignant cells to slow the progression of cancer.

Denileukin diftitox is used to treat leukemia and lymphomas, including cutaneous (of the skin) T-cell lymphoma.

Denileukin diftitox may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of denileukin diftitox (Ontak)?

You may have a reaction from a denileukin diftitox injection within hours or days after receiving the injection. Call your doctor promptly if you have one or more of these symptoms: fever, chills, weakness, muscle or joint pain, nausea, vomiting, or stomach upset.

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • blurred vision, changes in color vision;
  • swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet;
  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
  • fever, chills, body aches, cough, flu symptoms;
  • fast heart rate;
  • feeling light-headed, fainting;
  • back pain, trouble breathing, chest pain or tightness;
  • trouble swallowing, tight feeling in your throat; or
  • warmth or redness in your face, neck, or chest.

Less serious side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about denileukin diftitox (Ontak)?

You should not use denileukin diftitox if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a diphtheria vaccine or to medicines containing interleukin-2 (IL-2).

Denileukin diftitox is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. This medication must be given slowly, and the IV infusion can take at least 15 minutes to complete.

You may have a reaction from a denileukin diftitox injection within hours or days after receiving the injection. Call your doctor promptly if you have one or more of these symptoms: fever, chills, weakness, muscle or joint pain, nausea, vomiting, or stomach upset.

Some patients receiving denileukin diftitox have had permanent changes in their vision or ability to see colors. Talk with your doctor about your individual risk. Tell your doctor if you have any vision changes during your treatment.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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