Aldesleukin (interleukin - 2)

By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Generic Name: Aldesleukin (interleukin - 2) Brand Name(s): Aldesleukin (interleukin - 2) and Aldesleukin (interleukin - 2).

Uses

What is aldesleukin (interleukin – 2)used for?

Aldesleukin is an antineoplastic. It works by helping enhance many aspects of the immune system, which helps to decrease growth of the cancer cells.

Aldesleukin is commonly used for treating melanoma (a type of skin cancer) and advanced renal cell carcinoma (a type of kidney cancer) that has spread to other parts of the body.

How should I take aldesleukin (interleukin – 2)?

Aldesleukin is usually administered as an injection at your doctor’s office, hospital, or clinic. If you are using aldesleukin at home, carefully follow the injection procedures taught to you by your health care provider.

If aldesleukin contains particles or is discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged in any way, do not use it.

Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to explain local regulations for proper disposal.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use aldesleukin.

How do I store aldesleukin (interleukin – 2)?

Aldesleukin is best stored in the refrigerator. To prevent drug damage, do not freeze. There may be different brands of aldesleukin that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush aldesleukin down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using aldesleukin (interleukin – 2)?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
  • You are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement.
  • You have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances.
  • You are allergic to any ingredient in aldesleukin.

Aldesleukin may cause drowsiness or dizziness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to aldesleukin. Using aldesleukin alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks.

If nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite occurs, ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist for ways to lessen these effects.

Aldesleukin may reduce the number of blood cells that are needed for clotting. To prevent bleeding, avoid situations in which bruising or injury may occur. Report any unusual bleeding, bruising, blood in stools, or dark, tarry stools to your doctor.

Aldesleukin may lower your body’s ability to fight infection. Prevent infection by avoiding contact with people with colds or other infections. Do not touch your eyes or the inside of your nose unless you have thoroughly washed your hands first. Notify your doctor of any signs of infection, including fever, sore throat, rashes, or chills.

Avoid vaccinations with live virus vaccines (e.g., measles, mumps, oral polio) while you are taking aldesleukin. Check with your doctor before anyone in your household has a vaccination.

Lab tests, including complete blood cell counts, kidney and liver tests, and lung function tests, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.

Aldesleukin is not recommended for use in children; safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using aldesleukin during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking aldesleukin. Aldesleukin is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from aldesleukin (interleukin – 2)?

Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:

  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • General body discomfort
  • Increased cough
  • Infection
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain
  • Runny nose
  • Weakness

Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:

  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue
  • Black stools
  • Chest pain
  • Chills
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Drowsiness
  • Fainting
  • Fever
  • Heart murmurs or gallops
  • Infrequent urination or inability to urinate
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Irritability
  • Mood changes
  • Nausea
  • Pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site
  • Pounding in the chest
  • Redness of the tongue
  • Reduced amount of urine
  • Severe dizziness
  • Severe lack of energy
  • Sore throat
  • Sores on the mouth or lips
  • Stomach pain or protrusion
  • Swelling
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding
  • Vomiting
  • Weight gain

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with aldesleukin (interleukin – 2)?

Aldesleukin may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with aldesleukin (interleukin – 2)?

Aldesleukin may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with aldesleukin (interleukin – 2)?

Aldesleukin may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

These health conditions are:

  • Epilepsy
  • A central nervous system disorder
  • Liver or kidney problems
  • High calcium levels
  • An infection or autoimmune disease
  • An indwelling central line
  • An organ transplant
  • A kidney failure requiring dialysis
  • A history of an abnormal heart stress test
  • Lung function test
  • Heart rate
  • Rhythm problems
  • Chest pain (angina)
  • A heart attack
  • A history of seizures
  • Coma
  • Toxic psychosis
  • Stomach or intestinal bleeding requiring surgery
  • Bowel blood flow problems
  • Ulcers

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using aldesleukin (interleukin – 2).

What is the dose of aldesleukin (interleukin – 2) for an adult?

Renal cell carcinoma, metastatic: 

IV: The recommended dose is 600,000 units/kg every 8 hours for a maximum of 14 doses; repeat after 9 days for a total of 28 doses per course; re-treat if tumor shrinkage observed (and if no contraindications) at least 7 weeks after hospital discharge date.

Off-label dosing: The recommended dose is 720,000 units/kg every 8 hours for up to 12 doses; repeat with a second cycle 10 to 15 days later.

Melanoma, metastatic: 

Single-agent use: The recommended dose is 600,000 units/kg every 8 hours for a maximum of 14 doses; repeat after 9 days for a total of 28 doses per course; re-treat if tumor shrinkage observed (and if no contraindications) at least 7 weeks after hospital discharge date.

Off-label dosing: The recommended dose is 720,000 units/kg every 8 hours for 12 to 15 doses; repeat with a second cycle of 14 days after the first dose of the initial cycle.

Combination biochemotherapy (off-label use): The recommended dose is 9 million units/m2/day continuous infusion over 24 hours for 4 days every 3 weeks for up to 4 cycles; or 9 million units/m2/day continuous infusion over 24 hours days 5 to 8, 17 to 20, and 26 to 29 every 42 days for up to 5 cycles; or 9 million units/m2/day continuous infusion over 24 hours for 4 days every 3 weeks for 6 cycles.

What is the dose of aldesleukin (interleukin – 2) for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is aldesleukin (interleukin – 2) available?

Aldesleukin is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Aldesleukin powder for injection: 22M International Units/vial

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of aldesleukin, contact your doctor immediately.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: April 24, 2017 | Last Modified: September 12, 2019

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