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Proleukin

Generic name: aldesleukin (AL des LOO kin)
Brand name: Proleukin
Drug class: Interleukins, Miscellaneous antineoplastics

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Feb 26, 2021. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is Proleukin?

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

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

Warnings

You should not be treated with Proleukin if you have recently had abnormal lung or heart function tests.

Tell your doctor right away if you have signs of a serious side effect called capillary leak syndrome: stuffy or runny nose followed by tiredness or dizziness, thirst, decreased urination, trouble breathing, and sudden swelling or weight gain.

Also tell your doctor if you feel very drowsy during treatment.

Before taking this medicine

You should not be treated with Proleukin if you are allergic to Proleukin or interleukin-2, or if:

  • you have an active infection caused by bacteria;

  • you have received an organ transplant;

  • you have recently had an abnormal lung function test; or

  • you have recently had an abnormal exercise test showing decreased blood flow to your heart.

You may not be able to receive Proleukin if you've had any of these side effects while receiving this medicine in the past:

  • irregular heart rhythm;

  • chest pain;

  • a build-up of fluid around your heart;

  • kidney failure;

  • gallbladder disease;

  • seizures;

  • coma or psychosis (thinking problems, hallucinations, or changes in personality);

  • stomach or intestinal bleeding; or

  • if you needed a breathing tube.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

How is Proleukin given?

Proleukin is given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Your breathing, blood pressure, oxygen levels, kidney function, and other vital signs will be watched closely.

You will need daily blood tests, and you may also need chest x-rays.

After 4 weeks off Proleukin, your doctor will determine if you need to be treated again.

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

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What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your Proleukin.

What happens if I overdose?

Since Proleukin is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid while receiving Proleukin?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Proleukin side effects

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

Tell your doctor right away if you have signs of a serious side effect called capillary leak syndrome: stuffy or runny nose followed by tiredness or dizziness, thirst, decreased urination, trouble breathing, and sudden swelling or weight gain.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe drowsiness, feeling like you might pass out;

  • chest pain, fast or pounding heartbeats;

  • problems with vision, speech, balance, or coordination;

  • mood or behavior changes, confusion, agitation, hallucinations;

  • seizures (convulsions);

  • black, bloody, or tarry stools;

  • a blistering skin rash;

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or

  • low blood cell counts--fever, chills, tiredness, mouth sores, skin sores, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, pale skin, cold hands and feet, feeling light-headed or short of breath.

Common side effects may include:

  • rash;

  • chills;

  • felling like you might pass out;

  • diarrhea, vomiting, nausea;

  • decreased urination;

  • abnormal blood tests;

  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding, purple or red spots under your skin;

  • shortness of breath; or

  • confusion.

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 other drugs will affect Proleukin?

Proleukin can harm your kidneys, especially if you also use certain medicines for infections, cancer, osteoporosis, organ transplant rejection, bowel disorders, high blood pressure, or pain or arthritis (including Advil, Motrin, and Aleve).

Using Proleukin with other drugs that make you drowsy can worsen this effect. Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures.

Many drugs can affect Proleukin. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.