Medication Guide App

Metvixia

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

What is Metvixia?

Metvixia makes your skin more sensitive to light. It works by causing a reaction with light that can destroy certain types of diseased skin cells.

Metvixia topical (for the skin) is used in combination with red light therapy to treat a skin condition called actinic keratosis of the face and scalp.

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

Important information

You should not use Metvixia if you are allergic to methyl aminolevulinate, porphyrins, peanuts or almonds, or if your skin is especially sensitive to light.

Before you are treated with Metvixia, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Also tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially drugs that can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, such as certain antibiotics, heart or blood pressure medications, diuretics (water pills), sulfa drugs, oral diabetes medications, or NSAID pain or arthritis medicines.

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Metvixia is applied by a healthcare provider in a clinic setting. For at least 48 hours after your treatment, avoid exposing treated skin to sunlight, sunlamps, tanning beds, or other bright lights. Sunscreen is not effective enough to protect treated skin from harm caused by bring light during this time. Wear protective clothing whenever you are outdoors. Call your doctor at once if you have severe stinging, burning, redness, oozing, or swelling of treated skin areas, especially if you have these effects for longer than 3 weeks after treatment.

It may take several weeks before you notice improvement in your skin condition. Your doctor will need to check your treated skin 3 months after the end of your last treatment with Metvixia.

Your skin lesions may need to be treated more than once, and they may come back after treatment. Talk to your doctor about the number of treatments needed to treat your condition.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking Metvixia?

You should not use Metvixia if you are allergic to methyl aminolevulinate, or if you have:

  • an allergy to peanuts or almonds;

  • an allergy to porphyrins; or

  • if your skin is especially sensitive to light.

Before you are treated with Metvixia, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether methyl aminolevulinate is harmful to an unborn baby. Before taking Metvixia, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether methyl aminolevulinate passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

How is Metvixia used?

Metvixia topical is a cream that is applied to actinic keratosis skin lesions prior to red light treatment. Your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider will prepare your skin and apply Metvixia in a clinic setting.

Prior to application of Metvixia, your skin lesions will be gently scraped to remove any scales or crusting. After the medication is applied, your caregiver will cover the treatment area with a bandage. You will need to leave this bandage in place for 3 hours.

During this 3-hour period, avoid exposure to cold temperatures and sunlight or bright indoor lights. Wear a wide-brimmed hat if you must be outdoors during this time.

After your bandaging is removed, any excess medication will be removed with a saline solution. You will then be ready to receive the light treatment.

You will be given eye-wear to protect your eyes during red light treatment.

You may feel a slight stinging or burning during light therapy. Tell your caregivers if you have any type of severe discomfort.

Metvixia and red light therapy is usually given in two sessions one week apart. Your treatment schedule may be different. Follow your doctor's instructions.

It may take several weeks before you notice improvement in your skin condition. Your doctor will need to check your treated skin 3 months after the end of your last treatment with Metvixia.

Your skin lesions may need to be treated more than once, and they may come back after treatment. Talk to your doctor about the number of treatments needed to treat your condition.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since Metvixia is applied only when needed prior to red light therapy, you will not be on a dosing schedule.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Symptoms of a Metvixia overdose are not known.

What should I avoid?

Tell your caregivers right away if any of Metvixia gets into your eyes, mouth, or nose. Avoid touching the treated skin areas after Metvixia cream has been applied to them. Special gloves must be worn by the healthcare provider while applying this medication, and you should not allow your own fingers to come into contact with the cream on your skin. For at least 48 hours after your treatment, avoid exposing treated skin to sunlight, sunlamps, tanning beds, or other bright lights. Sunscreen is not effective enough to protect treated skin from harm caused by bring light during this time. Wear protective clothing whenever you are outdoors.

Even if you do not receive the light therapy portion of your treatment, you must still protect your skin from light for 48 hours after the cream was applied.

Metvixia side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have severe stinging, burning, redness, oozing, or swelling of treated skin areas, especially if you have these effects for longer than 3 weeks after treatment.

Less serious Metvixia side effects may include:

  • mild skin redness, warmth, burning, or swelling;

  • puffy eyes;

  • slight pain; or

  • itching, peeling, scabs or crusting of treated skin.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Metvixia?

Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially drugs that can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, such as:

  • amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone);

  • diabetes medications you take by mouth;

  • diltiazem (Tiazac, Cartia, Cardizem);

  • furosemide (Lasix);

  • porfimer (Photofrin);

  • quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinidex, Quin-Release);

  • tacrolimus (Prograf);

  • verteporfin (Visudyne);

  • an ACE inhibitor such as benazepril (Lotensin), captopril (Capoten), fosinopril (Monopril), enalapril (Vasotec), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), moexipril (Univasc), perindopril (Aceon), quinapril (Accupril), ramipril (Altace), or trandolapril (Mavik);

  • an antibiotic such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), doxycycline (Adoxa, Doryx, Oracea, Vibramycin), minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin, Solodyn, Vectrin), levofloxacin (Levaquin), ofloxacin (Floxin), norfloxacin (Noroxin), tetracycline (Brodspec, Panmycin, Sumycin, Tetracap);

  • a diuretic (water pill) such as hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), contained in Aldoril, Atacand, Capozide, HydroDiuril, Hyzaar, Lopressor, Lotensin, Moduretic, Monopril, Tekturna, Teveten, Vaseretic, Zestoretic, Ziac, and others;

  • an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), etodolac (Lodine), indomethacin (Indocin), ketoprofen (Orudis), and others; or

  • a sulfa drug (such as Bactrim, Septra, SMX-TMP, and others).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with Metvixia. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

More about Metvixia (methyl aminolevulinate topical)

Consumer resources

Professional resources

Related treatment guides

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about Metvixia.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects.
Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.01. Revision Date: 12/05/2008 4:21:02 PM.
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