1 What is Metvixia?

Brand: Metvixia

Generic: Methyl Aminolevulinate

Metvixia is used in the treatment of actinic keratosis (AK) on face and scalp. It is a photodynamic therapy.

It slows the growth of skin cells in the areas exposed to red light, which helps the skin to become less scaly and thick.

It is used only when the AK lesions are thin and light color. It is available in the form of a cream, only with your doctor’s prescription.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Metvixia, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it.


Inform your doctor if you are allergic to any food, preservatives, dyes, or had an allergic reaction when you used this drug before.


There are no adequate studies done which prove Methyl Aminolevulinate effects in children. Use it after consulting your doctor. However, safety and efficacy have not been established.


This medicine does not cause any different side effects or problem than it does in younger adults.


If you become pregnant while using it, discuss it with your doctor for potential risk factors.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies which prove that Methyl Aminolevulinate passes into breast milk. If you are using Methyl Aminolevulinate cream while nursing, discuss it with your doctor for possible risk factors.

Drug Interactions

Methyl Aminolevulinate may interact with other drugs. Your doctor should be informed of any other medicines which you are taking. He may want to change the dosage or drug. Some of them are listed below:

  • Griseofulvin,
  • Chlorpromazine
  • Sulfamethoxazole
  • Glyburide
  • Doxycycline
  • Hydrochlorothiazide

Other Medical Conditions:

Several other conditions may reduce its effectiveness.

Make sure you inform your doctor of conditions such as:

  • Blood clotting problem
  • Porphyria (blood disorder)
  • an immune system problem (HIV)
  • Allergy to almond oil
  • Allergy to peanut oil
  • Allergy to porphyrins
  • Photosensitivity (skin sensitive to sunlight)
  • Skin cancer or other growths on your body.

3 Proper Usage

To use Metvixia properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. Read the medication guide carefully. Ask your pharmacist if you have any queries.

It is applied by your doctor or by a trained health professional in a hospital or clinic. It is applied during two treatment sessions 1 week apart.

After application, a special bandage is applied on treated area. It is only for skin use. Wash it immediately if it goes into eyes, nose or mouth.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Metvixia, there are some precautions you must take. Your doctor should check your daily progress at regular visits. He/she may want a blood or urine test to check for unwanted effects.

Avoid exposure of treated areas to sunlight, bright indoor light such as medical examination lights, operating room lights, tanning beds, or any lights that are close to you, or extreme cold for at least 3 hours after the treatment.

Avoid exposure of treated areas to sunlight, bright indoor light for at least 2 days after photodynamic therapy (light treatment). Wear protective clothing, or use a sunscreen if you cannot avoid the sun.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Metvixia. Some people may experience none or minor side effects.

Consult with your doctor if they become problematic or frequent:

More common are:

  • Breakdown of the skin
  • Irritation and redness of the skin
  • Scabbing
  • Swelling of the eyelid
  • Swelling of the skin

Less common are:

  • Discharge at the site of application
  • Sores on the skin that do not heal

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.