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Methyl Aminolevulinate

Generic name: Methyl Aminolevulinate (METH il a mee noe LEV ue lin ate)
Drug class: Topical photochemotherapeutics

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Sep 23, 2020.

Uses of Methyl Aminolevulinate:

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Methyl Aminolevulinate?

  • If you have an allergy to methyl aminolevulinate or any other part of methyl aminolevulinate.
  • If you are allergic to methyl aminolevulinate; any part of methyl aminolevulinate; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
  • If you are allergic to almond oil, peanuts, or porphyrins.
  • If your skin is sensitive to light.
  • If you have porphyria.
  • If you are taking any drugs that may make your skin more sensitive to light. There are many drugs that can do this. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
  • If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed for at least 48 hours after getting methyl aminolevulinate.
  • If the patient is a child. Do not give methyl aminolevulinate to a child.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with methyl aminolevulinate.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take methyl aminolevulinate with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Methyl Aminolevulinate?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take methyl aminolevulinate. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • The treated area may be more sensitive to light. Light may cause a burning or stinging feeling. Protect the treated area and skin around it from sun, sunlamps, bright indoor lights, and tanning beds after methyl aminolevulinate is put on and for as long as you have been told by your doctor. Wear the proper covering like a wide-brimmed hat, long sleeve shirt, or gloves to protect the treated skin from light. Sunscreens will not help.
  • Do not use sunscreen or other drugs on affected part.
  • Protect from cold.
  • Talk with your doctor before you use other drugs or products on your skin.
  • This medicine may cause harm if swallowed. If methyl aminolevulinate is swallowed, call a doctor or poison control center right away.
  • Call your doctor right away if you have a skin reaction that bothers you or if the reaction makes it hard to keep putting methyl aminolevulinate on. Call your doctor right away if you have a skin reaction that causes problems with daily living.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using methyl aminolevulinate while you are pregnant.

How is this medicine (Methyl Aminolevulinate) best taken?

Use methyl aminolevulinate as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • This medicine is used with light therapy.
  • Your doctor or other healthcare provider will put on the skin.
  • Keep out of your mouth, nose, and eyes (may burn).
  • If you get methyl aminolevulinate in any of these areas, rinse well with water.
  • You will need to protect your eyes during the light therapy. Follow what your doctor has told you.
  • If you cannot have the light therapy after methyl aminolevulinate has been put on, talk with your doctor. Avoid bright light for as long as you have been told by your doctor.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Call your doctor to find out what to do.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
  • Redness, swelling, or other skin irritation that gets worse or lasts longer than 3 weeks.

What are some other side effects of Methyl Aminolevulinate?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Headache.
  • People using methyl aminolevulinate may have skin reactions where methyl aminolevulinate is used. These reactions may include bleeding, blisters, burning, crusting, itching, pain, peeling, redness, stinging, swelling, or ulcers. Most of the time, burning, pain, and stinging go away within a few hours. If these reactions get very bad, a break from using methyl aminolevulinate may be needed as told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Methyl Aminolevulinate?

  • If you need to store methyl aminolevulinate at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.

Consumer information use

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about methyl aminolevulinate, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.