Aminolevulinic acid (On the skin)


Aminolevulinic Acid (a-mee-noe-lev-ue-LIN-ik AS-id)

Treats wart-like lesions (actinic keratoses).

Brand Name(s)

Levulan Kerastick

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine

Stick, Liquid

  • You will receive this medicine in a clinic or doctor's office.
  • A nurse or other caregiver will apply the medicine. The next day, or several hours later, you will be treated with a blue light.
  • After treatment with this medicine, stay out of the sun or bright light as much as possible. Wear protective clothing when you go outside.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can make you more sensitive to sunlight if taken with aminolevulinic acid. Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following:
    • Antibiotics such as doxycycline, minocycline, tetracycline, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole
    • Diuretics (water pills), such as hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ)
    • Griseofulvin
    • Phenothiazine medicine, such as promethazine, chlorpromazine
    • Sulfa drugs

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • You may feel stinging, tingling, prickling, or burning of the lesions during the blue light treatment, but this should go away after the treatment.
  • Redness, scaling, and swelling may occur but should clear up after 4 weeks of treatment.
  • This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Wear sunscreen. Do not use sunlamps or tanning beds.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Bleeding, blistering, or oozing of treated areas

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Changes in color of treated skin
  • Stinging, burning, tingling, or itching skin

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 8/4/2014

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