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Benzyl Alcohol Lotion 5%

Drug class: Topical anti-infectives
Approval date: April 9, 2009
Company: Sciele Pharma, Inc.
Treatment for: Head Lice

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Aug 23, 2023.

FDA Approves Benzyl Alcohol Lotion 5%

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Benzyl Alcohol Lotion 5%, the first and only prescription medication that kills head lice by asphyxiation without potential neurotoxic side effects.

Each year, approximately 6 to 12 million children between the ages of 3 and 12 years are infested with head lice. To survive, lice breathe through sophisticated spiracles that close upon contact with most liquids, allowing the lice to go into suspended animation and survive for hours without respiration. Benzyl alcohol prevents lice from closing their spiracles, thereby asphyxiating them within ten minutes and causing death.

Benzyl Alcohol Lotion 5% Patient Information

Read the Patient Information that comes with Benzyl Alcohol Lotion 5% before you start using it and each time you get a refill. There may be new information. This leaflet does not take the place of talking to your healthcare provider about your medical condition or treatment.

Note: For use on scalp hair and scalp only

What is Benzyl Alcohol Lotion 5%?

Benzyl Alcohol Lotion 5% is a prescription medicine used to get rid of lice in scalp hair of children and adults. It is not known if Benzyl Alcohol Lotion 5% is safe for children under 6 months of age or in people over age 60.

Once Benzyl Alcohol Lotion 5% is washed off, a fine-tooth comb may be used to remove treated lice and nits from the hair and scalp. All personal items exposed to the hair or lice should be washed in hot water or dry-cleaned. See "How do I stop the spread of lice?" at the end of this leaflet.

What should I tell my healthcare provider before I use Benzyl Alcohol Lotion 5%?

Tell your healthcare provider if your baby was born early so your healthcare provider can decide if your infant is old enough for Benzyl Alcohol Lotion 5%.

Tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

How should I use Benzyl Alcohol Lotion 5%?

What are the possible side effects of Benzyl Alcohol Lotion 5%?

People using Benzyl Alcohol Lotion 5% may have skin or eye:

These are not all the side effects of Benzyl Alcohol Lotion 5%. For more information, ask your healthcare provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1800-FDA-1088.

How should I store Benzyl Alcohol Lotion 5%?

Keep Benzyl Alcohol Lotion 5% and all medicines out of the reach of children.

What are the ingredients in Benzyl Alcohol Lotion 5%?

Active ingredient: benzyl alcohol, 5%
Inactive ingredients: purified water, mineral oil, sorbitan monooleate, polysorbate 80, carbomer 934P and trolamine

General Information about Benzyl Alcohol Lotion 5%

Medicines are sometimes prescribed for conditions other than those described in the patient information leaflets. Do not use Benzyl Alcohol Lotion 5% for any condition for which it was not prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not give Benzyl Alcohol Lotion 5% to other people, even if they have the same symptoms as you. It may harm them.

This leaflet summarizes the most important information about Benzyl Alcohol Lotion 5%. If you would like more information, talk to your healthcare provider. You can also ask your healthcare provider for information about Benzyl Alcohol Lotion 5% that is written for healthcare professionals.

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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.