Aldesleukin injection is anticancer medicine that is used to treat metastatic kidney cancer (cancer that has already spread to the body) and metastatic skin cancer.

Aldesleukin is a man-made version of a substance called interleukin-2. Interleukins are produced naturally by cells in the body to help white blood cells work.

Aldesleukin causes very serious side effects in addition to its helpful effects. Some effects can be fatal. For that reason, aldesleukin injection is given only in the hospital. If severe side effects occur, which is common, treatment in an intensive care unit (ICU) may be necessary. Other effects may not be serious but may cause concern. Before you begin treatment with aldesleukin, you and your doctor should talk about the benefits aldesleukin will do as well as the risks of using it.

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  • Aldesleukin
  • More common:
    fever or chills
    mental depression
    nausea and vomiting
    shortness of breath
    sores in the mouth and on lips
    tingling of the hands or feet
    unusual decrease in urination
    unusual tiredness or weakness
    weight gain of 5 to 10 pounds or more
    Less common:
    Bloating and stomach pain
    blurred or double vision
    fast or irregular heartbeat
    loss of taste
    rapid breathing
    redness, swelling, and soreness of the tongue
    trouble with speaking
    yellow eyes and skin
    Changes in menstrual periods
    convulsions (seizures)
    muscle aches
    pain or redness at injection site
    sudden inability to move
    swelling in the front of the neck
    swelling of the feet or lower legs
    Less common:
    Black, tarry stools
    blisters on the skin
    blood in the urine
    bloody vomit
    chest pain
    cough or hoarseness
    lower back or side pain
    painful or difficult urination
    pinpoint red spots on the skin
    stomach pain (severe)
    unusual bleeding or bruising
    Severity: Minor
    Some of the side effects that can occur with aldesleukin may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

    More common:
    Dry skin
    loss of appetite
    skin rash or redness with burning or itching, followed by peeling
    unusual feeling of discomfort or illness
    Less common:
    joint pain
    muscle pain
  • (intravenous powder for injection)