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Drug or Toxic Substance:
5-aminolevulinic acid
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Aminolevulinic acid (ALA) is a naturally occurring compound found in plants and animals. It is used in the treatment of certain types of skin cancer, such as actinic keratosis and superficial basal cell carcinoma. ALA is applied to the skin and then exposed to light, which activates the ALA and causes it to produce a form of oxygen that destroys cancer cells.

Common side effects of ALA include redness, itching, burning, and stinging at the application site. Other side effects may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, and dizziness.

Brand names associated with ALA include Levulan Kerastick, Metvix, and Ameluz.

  • aminolevulinic acid
  • delta-aminolevulinic acid
  • antineoplastic
  • photosensitizer

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