Methyl Aminolevulinate

Methyl Aminolevulinate Brand Name– Metvixia

What is Methyl Aminolevulinate

Methyl aminolevulinate, a pro-drug, is the methyl ester of 5-Aminolevulinic acid, a photosensitizing agent.

Methyl aminolevulinate is more lipophilic than it’s acid, 5-aminolevulinic acid, resulting in greater tissue penetration. 5-aminolevulinic acid is an endogenous 5-carbon aminoketone and a precursor to the photosensitizing compound, protoporphyrin IX (PpIX). PpIX is a potent photosensitizer and has a high fluorescent yield when used with photodynamic therapy.

Topical application of methyl aminolevulinate followed by exposure to an activating light has been used in the treatment of dermatologic disorders including actinic keratosis and basal cell carcinoma.

The FDA approved methyl aminolevulinate topical cream in July 2004 for the treatment of non-hyperkeratotic actinic keratosis of the face or scalp. In June 2008, the FDA approved the use of the Aktilite CL128 lamp in combination with methyl aminolevulinate.

Methyl aminolevulinate is not indicated for treatment of actinic keratosis located on areas other than the face or scalp.


  • actinic keratosis
  • basal cell carcinoma

For the treatment of non-hyperkeratotic actinic keratosis lesions of the scalp or face

NOTE: Methyl aminolevulinate cream is intended for topical use in the physician’s office by trained healthcare professionals only.

Side Effects

  1. angioedema
  2. contact dermatitis
  3. edema
  4. erythema
  5. headache
  6. infection
  7. keratitis
  8. macular edema
  9. new primary malignancy
  10. photosensitivity
  11. pruritus
  12. skin erosion
  13. skin hyperpigmentation
  14. skin irritation
  15. urticaria

Monitoring Parameters

  • laboratory monitoring not necessary


  • accidental exposure
  • breast-feeding
  • children
  • coagulopathy
  • immunosuppression
  • ocular exposure
  • peanut hypersensitivity
  • porphyria
  • porphyrin hypersensitivity
  • pregnancy
  • skin photosensitivity disorder
  • sunlight (UV) exposure


There are no drug interactions associated with Methyl Aminolevulinate products.


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