Aldesleukin is used to treat metastatic cancer originating in the kidneys or in the skin. This drug is injected on a regular basis to stop the cancer from spreading. It is usually used only if less aggressive cancer treatment fails to contain the cancer.
Injecting this drug causes capillary leak, a condition in which the blood loses volume. This can lead to fatally low blood pressure levels. Over 60 percent of patients taking Aldesleukin have to take another medication to help keep blood pressure at a normal level.
Patients may also suffer from respiratory problems while on this drug because of capillary leak. Difficulty breathing and wheezing are common side effects. Some patients also have kidney or heart problems as a result of taking the medication. Finally, some patients may have internal bleeding as a result of taking it. These negative side effects reverse themselves within hours of stopping the medication.