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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Quick Drug Information (DrugNotes) > Aldesleukin (Interleukin-2) (Injection)

Aldesleukin (Interleukin-2) (Injection)

Aldesleukin (al-des-LOO-kin)

Treats cancer of the kidneys. Also called interleukin-2 or IL-2.

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an unusual or allergic reaction to aldesleukin. The reaction might have included chest pain, trouble breathing, seizures, bleeding in your stomach, or kidney problems. This medicine should not be given to patients with severe heart, liver, kidney, nerve, or lung disease.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • This medicine, like all medicines used to treat cancer, is very strong. Make sure you understand why you are getting it and what the risks and benefits of treatment are. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor.
  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given.
  • Your medicine will be given through a tube put in one of your veins, usually in your arm or chest. This is called intravenous (in-tra-VEEN-us), or IV.
  • A nurse or other caregiver trained to give cancer drugs will give your treatment.
  • Before your treatment, check your IV bag to make sure there are no leaks.

If a dose is missed:

  • This medicine needs to be given on a regular schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or clinic that gives your treatments for instructions.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • The liquid should be clear and colorless or very light yellow. If you see any solid pieces or if the medicine changes color, You should not use it.
  • If you get your treatments at a clinic, the staff at the clinic will keep your medicine there.
  • If you get your treatments at home, you may need to store your medicine. Keep the medicine in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. The medicine must be used within 2 days (48 hours)
  • Take the medicine out of the refrigerator about an hour before your treatment, and let it warm to room temperature in a clean dry place.
  • If you get your treatments at home, you should be given a special container for the used needles, medicine bag or bottles, and tubes. Put it where children or pets cannot reach it.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children.
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 become harmful or change the way many other medicines work. Some of these are medicines to treat pain, nausea, anxiety, infections, and high blood pressure. Give your doctor a list of all the medicines you take, including those you get without a prescription.
Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Do not breastfeed while you are being given this medicine.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you have a thyroid disorder, Crohn's disease, lupus, seizures, or an infection caused by bacteria. Aldesleukin can make these problems worse.
  • You may get infections more easily while you are getting aldesleukin. Stay away from crowds or people with colds, flu, or other infections.
  • This medicine can cause nausea and vomiting. Your doctor may prescribe medicine to keep you from feeling sick and throwing up. If the medicine does not help (you can't keep liquids down), call your doctor.
  • Your doctor will need to test your blood on a regular schedule while you are getting this medicine. Keep all of the appointments your doctor makes for you.
  • Do not get pregnant while you are being treated with aldesleukin. Use an effective form of birth control while you are receiving this medicine.
  • If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor before you start your treatments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Fast weight gain or fluid retention
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Bloody or black tarry bowel movements
  • Bloody vomit
  • Changes in your personality such as confusion, irritability, or depressed mood
  • Sudden decrease in urine amount or urinating less than 1 cup in a day
  • Yellowing of skin or eyes

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Dry skin
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.

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