AMINOLEVULINIC ACID is a light sensitizing drug that is used in photodynamic therapy (PDT). PDT is used to treat many types of skin conditions including actinic keratosis and certain types of skin cancer. PDT is a two-step process that requires application of a drug and then exposure to a certain type of light. Compare medical supplies and devices.

What is Levulan?

Commonly Used Brand Name(s)Ameluz, Levulan Kerastick

Therapeutic ClassificationsPhotosensitizing Agent




Aminolevulinic acid solution followed by exposure to a certain type of light (blue light using the BLU–U Blue Light Photodynamic Therapy Illuminator) treats the skin condition called actinic keratoses.

Aminolevulinic acid gel is used in combination with the medical device BF-RhodoLED® for PDT treatment of mild to moderate actinic keratoses on the face and scalp.

Aminolevulinic acid gel is to be given only by a health care provider.

Proper UseTOP

You will receive this medicine in a clinic or doctor's office. A nurse or other caregiver will apply the medicine.

If you are using the aminolevulinic acid solution:

  • Blue light illumination treatment must be followed with BLU–U Blue Light Photodynamic Therapy Illuminator in your doctor's office 14 to 18 hours after the application. The blue light treatment lasts approximately 17 minutes.
  • Your doctor may want to retreat you after 8 weeks if your skin condition did not completely resolve.
  • Call your doctor if you cannot return for the blue light illumination treatment after the aminolevulinic acid application. You should then protect the treated skin from sunlight and prolonged or intense light for at least 40 hours.

If you are using the aminolevulinic acidgel:

  • This medicine is applied on your lesions and may be applied to the skin around the lesions. Do not get any of the gel in your eyes, nose, mouth, or ears. Rinse it off right away if it does get on these areas.
  • After gel application, the area where the gel has been applied will be covered with a light-blocking, occlusive dressing for 3 hours.
  • Immediately after removing the dressing and any remaining gel, you will be treated with a red light using the BF-RhodoLED® lamp.
  • If the lesions cannot be treated with the BF-RhodoLED® lamp within 3 hours after the gel has been applied, then rinse off the gel with saline and water and protect the lesion sites from sunlight or prolonged or intense light for 2 days.
  • Your doctor may want to retreat you after 3 months if your skin condition did not completely resolve.

Before UsingTOP

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of aminolevulinic acid in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established. St


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of aminolevulinic acid in the elderly.

Breast FeedingTOP

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug InteractionsTOP

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other InteractionsTOP

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical ProblemsTOP

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

Aminolevulinic acid gel:

  • Allergy to porphyrins or
  • Allergy to soybean phosphatidylcholine or
  • Porphyria or
  • Skin sensitivity to sunlight—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.


Your doctor will check your progress closely while you are receiving this medicine. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to receive it. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

If your condition does not improve within 3 months , or if it become worse, check with your doctor.

Using Ameluz® with BF-RhodoLED® lamp may cause eye irritation or injury. It may also cause swelling of the eyelids. Tell your doctor right away if you have blurred vision, changes in vision, or red, sore eyes after receiving this medicine.

After aminolevulinic acid application, avoid exposure to sunlight or bright indoor light (eg, from examination lamps, operating room lamps, tanning beds, or being close to lights) up until the time of the blue or red light treatment. Wide-brimmed hats or similar head covering can help protect you from sunlight or sources of light. Sunscreens will not protect you from sunlight or sources of light.

Reduce your exposure to light if you experience stinging or burning on the treated areas before blue light treatment.

During the blue light treatment you will experience sensations of tingling, stinging, prickling or burning of the treated skin. These feelings of discomfort should improve at the end of the light treatment.

Following treatment, the actinic keratoses and possibly the surrounding skin will redden and swelling and scaling may also occur. These changes are temporary and should completely resolve by 4 weeks after treatment.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal (eg, St. John's wort) or vitamin supplements.

GoodRx is not sponsored by or affiliated with any of the pharmacies identified in its price comparisons. All trademarks, brands, logos and copyright images are property of their respective owners and rights holders and are used solely to represent the products of these rights holders. This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. GoodRx is not offering advice, recommending or endorsing any specific prescription drug, pharmacy or other information on the site. GoodRx provides no warranty for any of the pricing data or other information. Please seek medical advice before starting, changing or terminating any medical treatment.
The information contained in the Truven Health Micromedex products as delivered by GoodRx is intended as an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment. It is not a substitute for a medical exam, nor does it replace the need for services provided by medical professionals. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before taking any prescription or over the counter drugs (including any herbal medicines or supplements) or following any treatment or regimen. Only your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for you.
The use of the Truven Health products is at your sole risk. These products are provided "AS IS" and "as available" for use, without warranties of any kind, either express or implied. Truven Health and GoodRx make no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, reliability, timeliness, usefulness or completeness of any of the information contained in the products. Additionally, TRUVEN HEALTH MAKES NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTIES AS TO THE OPINIONS OR OTHER SERVICE OR DATA YOU MAY ACCESS, DOWNLOAD OR USE AS A RESULT OF USE OF THE THOMSON REUTERS HEALTHCARE PRODUCTS. ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE ARE HEREBY EXCLUDED. Truven Health does not assume any responsibility or risk for your use of the Truven Health products.