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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Proleukin

Generic Name: aldesleukin (Pronunciation: AL des LOO kin)

What is aldesleukin (Proleukin)?

Aldesleukin is a cancer medication that interferes with tumor growth.

Aldesleukin is used to treat kidney cancer or skin cancer than has spread to other parts of the body.

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

What are the possible side effects of aldesleukin (Proleukin)?

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

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

  • severe drowsiness;
  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • chest pain, fast or pounding heartbeats;
  • runny or stuffy nose, cough, rapid breathing and heart rate, trouble breathing, swelling and pain in any part of your body;
  • problems with vision, speech, balance, or coordination;
  • mood or behavior changes, confusion, agitation, hallucinations;
  • seizures (convulsions);
  • swelling, rapid weight gain;
  • black, bloody, or tarry stools;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • a blistering skin rash;
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
  • signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat, flu symptoms, easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums), nausea and vomiting, mouth sores, unusual weakness.

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 aldesleukin (Proleukin)?

You should not receive this medication if you are allergic to aldesleukin or interleukin-2, or if you have a bacterial infection, if you have received an organ transplant, or if you have recently had abnormal lung or heart function tests.

You may not be able to receive aldesleukin if prior treatment with this medication caused chest pain, irregular heart rhythm, a build-up of fluid around your heart, kidney failure, seizures, psychosis, stomach or intestinal bleeding, or if you needed a breathing tube.

Before you receive aldesleukin, tell your doctor if you have a heart disorder or history of heart attack, breathing problems, kidney or liver disease, gallbladder disease, high levels of calcium in your blood, a thyroid disorder, diabetes, seizures, mental illness, neurologic problems, or an autoimmune disorder (arthritis, Crohn's disease, scleroderma, myasthenia gravis, or skin disorder).

There are many other drugs that can interact with aldesleukin. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to any healthcare provider who treats you.

If you need to have any type of x-ray or CT scan using a dye that is injected into your veins, be sure the doctor knows ahead of time if you have recently received aldesleukin. Some people treated with aldesleukin or similar medication have had unusual allergic reactions to contrast agents used within weeks to several months later.

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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