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Methyl aminolevulinate (On the skin)

Methyl Aminolevulinate (METH-il a-mee-noe-lev-ue-LIN-ate)

Used with photodynamic therapy (light treatment) to treat skin growths on the face and scalp called actinic keratosis (AK).

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 allergic reaction to methyl aminolevulinate, porphyrins (such as porfimer, verteporfin, Photofrin®, or Visudyne®), peanut oil, or almond oil. You should not use this medicine if you have a history of skin sensitivity to sunlight (photosensitivity).

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Use this medicine only on your skin. Rinse it off right away if it gets on a cut or scrape. Do not get the medicine in your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • This medicine will be applied in a clinic or doctor's office.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not put cosmetics or skin care products on the treated skin.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have a history of bleeding problems.
  • This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Wear sunscreen. Do not use sunlamps or tanning beds.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

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

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Severe redness, swelling, burning, or stinging of your skin.
  • Skin bleeding, blisters, crusting, peeling, or ulcers.
  • Swelling of your eyelid.

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

  • Mild redness, itching, pain, warmth, tightness, or darkening of your skin.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 5/1/2020

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