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Methyl aminolevulinate cream

Generic Name: methyl aminolevulinate (METH-il a-MEE-noe-LEV-ue-LIN-ate)
Brand Name: Metvixia

Methyl aminolevulinate cream is used for:

Treating certain skin lesions (actinic keratoses) on the face or scalp. It is used along with red light treatment.

Methyl aminolevulinate cream is a photosensitizing agent. It works by slowing the growth of skin cells in the areas exposed to red light, which helps the skin to become less scaly and thick.

Do NOT use methyl aminolevulinate cream if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in methyl aminolevulinate cream; peanuts, peanut oil, or almond oil
  • you are allergic to porphyrins
  • you have a history of sensitivity to sunlight

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using methyl aminolevulinate cream:

Some medical conditions may interact with methyl aminolevulinate cream. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a blood clotting problem, the blood disorder porphyria, or an immune system problem (eg, HIV)
  • if you have or have had skin cancer or other growths on your body

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with methyl aminolevulinate cream. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Medicines that may increase photosensitivity, such as griseofulvin, phenothiazines (eg, chlorpromazine), sulfonamides (eg, sulfamethoxazole), sulfonylureas (eg, glyburide), tetracyclines (eg, doxycycline), or thiazide diuretics (eg, hydrochlorothiazide). Ask your doctor if you are unsure if any of your medicines may increase this risk

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if methyl aminolevulinate cream may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use methyl aminolevulinate cream:

Use methyl aminolevulinate cream as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • An extra patient leaflet is available with methyl aminolevulinate cream. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about this information.
  • Methyl aminolevulinate cream will be applied at your doctor's office. Methyl aminolevulinate cream is used during two treatment sessions 1 week apart. Each treatment session is a two-part procedure. During each treatment session, methyl aminolevulinate cream will be applied and you will receive a red light treatment on the same day.
  • Once methyl aminolevulinate cream is applied, a special bandage will be placed over the treated area. Avoid exposure of treated areas to sunlight, bright indoor light, or extreme cold. After you have received methyl aminolevulinate cream, your health care provider will give you the red light treatment. This is the second and final treatment step.
  • Before receiving the red light treatment, methyl aminolevulinate cream will be rinsed off of your skin with water and you will be given goggles to protect your eyes. Do not stare into the light. The red light will not heat your skin.
  • During the red light treatment, you will experience pain, tingling, stinging, prickling, or burning of the treated area. The red light treatment can be stopped and restarted if needed. These effects stop at the end of treatment, which lasts for about 7 to 10 minutes.
  • After the red light treatment, keep the treated area covered and away from light for 48 hours.
  • If for any reason you cannot have the red light treatment after methyl aminolevulinate cream is applied, rinse the cream off your skin and protect it from light. Continue to avoid bright light for at least 2 days.
  • If you miss a dose of methyl aminolevulinate cream, contact your doctor right away.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use methyl aminolevulinate cream.

Important safety information:

  • The treated area will be sensitive to light. Avoid exposing the treated area to sunlight and bright indoor light (eg, lamps, tanning beds, nearby lights) during the treatment period before the red light treatment and at least 48 hours after the red light treatment. Stinging, burning, flushing, and swelling may occur if the lesions are exposed to bright light.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat or similar head-covering of light, opaque material when exposed to sunlight or sources of bright light.
  • Sunscreens will not protect you from light sensitivity reactions. Do not use sunscreens on the treated lesions.
  • Do not apply any other medicine, creams, or lotions to the treated lesions unless instructed otherwise by your doctor.
  • Methyl aminolevulinate cream is for topical application to actinic keratoses on the face or scalp only. Avoid getting methyl aminolevulinate cream in your eyes, on skin near your eyes, or on the mucous membranes of the mouth or nose.
  • Methyl aminolevulinate cream may be harmful if swallowed. If you or someone you know may have taken methyl aminolevulinate cream by mouth, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.
  • Burning, redness, stinging, and swelling of the treated skin should be gone in 3 weeks. If treated skin lesions get worse or if they do not completely resolve after 3 weeks, check with your doctor.
  • Use methyl aminolevulinate cream with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Methyl aminolevulinate cream should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 18 years of age; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using methyl aminolevulinate cream while you are pregnant. It is not known if methyl aminolevulinate cream is found in breast milk after topical use. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use methyl aminolevulinate cream, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of methyl aminolevulinate cream:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Burning; crusting; flushing; itching; pain; redness; scabbing; scaling; skin blisters; stinging; swelling; tenderness; tightness.

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

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bleeding; change of skin color; oozing; pustules; severe or persistent burning, inflammation, irritation, pain, redness, or tenderness; swelling of the eyes or eyelids; ulceration; vision problems.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Methyl aminolevulinate cream may be harmful if swallowed.

Proper storage of methyl aminolevulinate cream:

Methyl aminolevulinate cream is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. Keep methyl aminolevulinate cream out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about methyl aminolevulinate cream, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Methyl aminolevulinate cream is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take methyl aminolevulinate cream or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about methyl aminolevulinate cream. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to methyl aminolevulinate cream. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using methyl aminolevulinate cream.

Issue Date: December 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.4.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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