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Metvixia Side Effects

Generic Name: methyl aminolevulinate topical

Note: This page contains information about the side effects of methyl aminolevulinate topical. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name Metvixia.

For the Consumer

Applies to methyl aminolevulinate topical: topical application cream

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by methyl aminolevulinate topical (the active ingredient contained in Metvixia). In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

Major Side Effects

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking methyl aminolevulinate topical:

More common:
  • Breakdown of the skin
  • irritation and redness of the skin
  • scabbing
  • swelling of the eyelid
  • swelling of the skin
Less common:
  • Discharge at the site of application
  • sores on the skin that do not heal
Incidence not known:
  • Blistering, burning, crusting, dryness, or flaking of the skin
  • blurred vision or other change in vision
  • eye redness, irritation, or pain
  • hives or welts
  • itching, scaling, or severe redness of the skin
  • persistent non-healing sore
  • pink growth on the skin
  • reddish patch or irritated area on the skin
  • seeing flashes or sparks of light
  • seeing floating spots before the eyes, or a veil or curtain appearing across part of the vision
  • shiny bump on the skin
  • skin rash, encrusted, scaly and oozing
  • white, yellow, or waxy scar-like area on the skin

Minor Side Effects

Some of the side effects that can occur with methyl aminolevulinate topical may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

Less common:
  • Darkening of the skin

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to methyl aminolevulinate topical: topical cream


In a cumulative irritancy and sensitization study, methyl aminolevulinate cream was applied three times each week for 3 weeks to separate sites on the back of healthy volunteers. Following a 2-week interval without further applications, 30 out of 58 subjects (52%) who were rechallenged with the cream for 48 hours showed contact sensitization.

The potential for sensitization was also assessed by patch testing in a total of 21 patients with actinic keratoses previously treated with methyl aminolevulinate cream on at least four occasions. Methyl aminolevulinate cream and vehicle cream were applied to different sites on the lower back for 48 hours. Three patients (14%) showed contact sensitization associated with erythema scores of 4 or higher (strong erythema spreading outside the patch), edema, vesiculation, papules, and glazing.[Ref]

Postmarketing reports: Eczema, allergic contact dermatitis, urticaria, . Most cases were localized to the treatment area, but rarely, erythema and swelling have been more extensive. Contact sensitization has been demonstrated in dermal safety studies.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Eyelid edema (18%)
Postmarketing reports: Edema, eyelid swelling, macular edema, vitreous detachment, keratitis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Skin burning/pain/discomfort (86%; 20% severe), erythema (63%; 6% severe), scabbing/crusting/blister/erosions (29%; 2% severe), pruritus (22%), skin or eyelid edema (18%; 2% severe), skin exfoliation (14%; 3% severe)
Common (1% to 10%): Skin warmth (4%), application site discharge (2%), skin hemorrhage (2%), skin tightness (2%), and skin hyperpigmentation (2%)
Postmarketing reports: Angioedema[Ref]

Treatment site reactions occurred in 113 out of 126 (90%) patients treated with methyl aminolevulinate cream in two clinical trials. The most frequent adverse reactions were associated with phototoxicity at the treatment site. Pain and burning sensation typically begin during illumination and resolve completely within a few minutes or hours, but may last up to a few days. Erythema and other signs generally resolve within a few days to 3 weeks.[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Metvixia (methyl aminolevulinate topical)." Galderma Laboratories Inc, Cranbury, NJ.

Not all side effects for Metvixia may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

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