Aminolevulinic acid

Chemical formula: C₅H₉NO₃  Molecular mass: 131.13 g/mol  PubChem compound: 137

Active ingredient description

5-Aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) is a natural biochemical precursor of heme that is metabolised in a series of enzymatic reactions to fluorescent porphyrins, particularly PPIX. 5-ALA synthesis is regulated by an intracellular pool of free heme via a negative feedback mechanism. Administration of excess exogenous 5-ALA avoids the negative feedback control, and accumulation of PPIX occurs in target tissue. In the presence of visible light, fluorescence of PPIX (photodynamic effect) in certain target tissues can be used for photodynamic diagnosis.

Medicine classification

This medicinal substance has been classified in the anatomical therapeutic chemical (ATC) classification according to its main therapeutic use as follows:

ATC code Group title Classification
L01XD04 Aminolevulinic acid L Antineoplastic and immunomodulating agents → L01 Antineoplastic agents → L01X Other antineoplastic agents → L01XD Sensitizers used in photodynamic/radiation therapy
Discover more medicines within L01XD04

Product monographs

Competent medicine agencies globally have authorized commercialization of this active ingredient according to these medication package inserts (MPIs):

Title Information Source Document Type  
AMELUZ Gel FDA, National Drug Code (US) MPI, US: SPL/PLR
GLIOLAN Powder for oral solution European Medicines Agency (EU) MPI, EU: SmPC

Structural formula

Graphic representation of the active ingredient's molecular structure

External identifiers

CAS Substance: 106-60-5
CAS Substance: 5451-09-2
DrugBank Drug: DB00855
PubChem Compound: 137
RxNorm Ingredient: 683
SNOMED-CT Concept: 259496005
5-aminolevulinic acid (substance)
UNII Identifier: 88755TAZ87

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