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Aminolevulinic acid (topical)

Generic name: aminolevulinic acid (topical) [a-MEE-noe-LEV-ue-LIN-ik-AS-id]
Brand names: Ameluz, Levulan Kerastick
Dosage form: topical gel (10 percent), topical solution (20 percent).
Drug class: topical photochemotherapeutics

What is Aminolevulinic acid?

Aminolevulinic acid causes skin cells to become more tolerant to specific types of light. Skin cells treated with aminolevulinic acid are killed and then slough off after exposure to specific light treatments.Aminolevulinic acid can be utilised to address actinic keratosis (warty skin overgrowths) on the scalp and face. Aminolevulinic acids are used with a particular light therapy, also known as photodynamic therapy.Aminolevulinic acid can be used in other ways not covered in this medication guide.

Side effects of Aminolevulinic acid

See a doctor immediately. Get medical attention immediately if you notice symptoms or warning signs of an allergic response, like hives, trouble breathing, and swelling of your lips, face, tongue, throat, or face.Contact your doctor immediately. If you experience severe burning or stinging lasting longer than four weeks,

Common adverse side effects of aminolevulinic acids could include:

  • Redness, pain, burning, or swelling on treated skin
  • Itching, stinging, tingling, or prickly sensation;
  • Skin; crusting or scaling of the skin
  • Headache;
  • Chills
  • Puffy eyes.

This isn't a complete list of all the side effects. Others could happen. Contact your doctor for advice regarding medical effects. You can report any side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Similar or related drugs

diclofenac topical, fluorouracil topical, imiquimod topical, Santyl, Efudex, Collagenase Santyl, and Klisyri


Do not expose yourself to bright indoor lighting for at least 48 hours after aminolevulinic acid has been applied to your scalp or skin.

Prior to use this drug

You shouldn't be treated with aminolevulinic acid if you are sensitive to it.

Speak to your doctor if you were ever diagnosed with:

  • A soybean allergy to soybeans
  • Porphyria (a genetic disorder of enzymes that can cause symptoms in the nervous system, skin, or nerves).

Inform your doctor if you are breastfeeding or pregnant.

How to take Aminolevulinic acid?

A doctor will apply aminolevulinic acid directly to your skin lesions, preparing your skin for light treatments.Your scalp and face may require distinct sessions if you suffer from the condition of actinic keratosis on both sides.

If you're treated with Ameluz gel:

  • The treated skin is covered by a dressing that blocks the light.
  • After three hours, the bandage will come off, and gentle treatment will be applied to the lesions.

If you're receiving treatment with Levulan Kerastick Solution:

  • You must visit the doctor's office within 14–18 hours following the appointment to receive a light treatment.
  • After the treatment is applied, ensure that the treated area is dry.
  • Do not wash your face while you wait for your mild treatment.

The light produced by photodynamics is low in intensity and won't heat the skin. You may experience sensations of stinging, tingling, or burning where aminolevulinic acid has been applied. The discomfort will usually last for a few minutes.For at least 48 hours, you'll need to shield your skin from light. Sunscreen won't be sufficient to protect your skin while the medication is applied to your scalp or on your skin. Beware of exposure to the bright sunlight as well as the bright indoor light. Wear safety clothing and an open-brimmed hat when you're outside. If you experience stinging or burning on your treated skin, limit the amount of light exposure.There may be some redness, swelling, and the appearance of lesions and the skin around them. These signs should fade completely in the space of 4 weeks.Consult your physician if you are experiencing severe skin irritation or if you're experiencing any new or recurring skin problems.If your lesions from actinic keratosis aren't completely cleared, it is possible that you will require additional treatment. Levulan Kerastick as well as light treatment are a possibility at the end of 8 weeks. Ameluz, along with light therapy, is able to be repeated after 3 months.

Details on dosage

Usual Adult Dose for Actinic Keratosis:

A single application and a dose of lighting for each treatment site per 8-week treatment session
Time of treatment: Treatable lesions that haven't completely disappeared after 8 weeks can be treated for a second time.
The topical aminolevulinic acid solution is recommended for just one person.
Photodynamic therapy is a two-stage process that involves applying the treatment, followed by 14 to 18 hours of illumination using blue light with BLU-U, the Blue Light Photodynamic Therapy Illuminator.
Use: Treatment of mildly to moderately thick keratoses of the scalp or face

What happens if I miss the dose?

Contact your physician for advice. If you are unable to return for your treatment in the recommended 14–18 hours following the application of the Levulan Kerastick, When you apply this medication, light therapy is crucial to the effectiveness of the treatment.

What happens if I overdose?

Because aminolevulinic acid is administered by a medical expert in a medical environment, the risk of overdose is less likely to be a problem.

What should be avoided?

Beware of exposure to bright indoor lighting for a period of up to 48 hours. Wear a hat and wear clothing that covers your skin. Even if you don't make your appointment to light treat, avoid the bright lights for up to 48 hours.Avoid other medications for the areas that are treated with aminolevulinic acid unless your physician recommends it.

Interaction with other drugs

Discuss with your doctor any other medications. Certain drugs may cause you to be more sensitive to sunlight, particularly:

  • An anti-inflammatory or sulfa medication;
  • A diuretic, or "water pill";
  • Medicines for treating the symptoms of nausea;
  • Antipsychotic medications as well as
  • An oral diabetes medicine.

This list isn't exhaustive. Other medications can affect aminolevulinic acid, such as prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Some interactions with drugs may not be listed here. are listed here.