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Benzyl alcohol topical

Generic Name: benzyl alcohol topical (BEN zil AL ka hol TOP i kal)
Brand Name: Ulesfia, zilactin, zilactin-L

Medically reviewed by on Jun 18, 2020 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is benzyl alcohol topical?

Benzyl alcohol topical is used to treat head lice in people between 6 months of age and 60 years old.

Benzyl alcohol topical may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Before taking this medicine

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • any skin conditions; or

  • any other medical conditions.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Do not use this medication on an infant younger than 6 months old. Benzyl alcohol topical contains an ingredient that can cause serious side effects or death in very young or premature babies. Tell your healthcare provider if your baby was born prematurely.

How should I use benzyl alcohol topical?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Avoid getting benzyl alcohol topical in your eyes, mouth, or vagina. It is for use only on the hair and scalp.

Do not allow a child to use this medicine without supervision of an adult.

Do not wet your hair or scalp before applying this medicine.

Apply enough lotion to completely soak your scalp and hair, including behind your ears and the back of your neck. Massage in thoroughly. You may need to use more than one bottle of benzyl alcohol topical for longer hair.

Wash your hands with soap and water after applying the medicine.

Leave the lotion on for 10 minutes, keeping your eyes closed and covered during this time. Then rinse out thoroughly with water.

You may shampoo your hair at any time after using benzyl alcohol topical.

After rinsing, use a fine-tooth nit comb to remove lice eggs from the hair. Rinse the nit comb often during use. Place removed nits into a sealed plastic bag and throw it into the trash to prevent re-infestation.

Benzyl alcohol topical will not get rid of lice eggs so you must use a second application of this medicine 7 days after the first use.

Wash all clothing, hats, bed clothes, bed linens, and towels in hot water and dry in high heat. Dry-clean any non-washable clothing. Hair brushes, combs, and hair accessories should be soaked in hot water.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not freeze.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Ask your doctor if you missed your second application.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed this medication.

What should I avoid while using benzyl alcohol topical?

To prevent spreading lice, avoid head to head contact with others until your lice infection has cleared up. Avoid sharing hair brushes, combs, hair accessories, hats, scarves, and pillows. Lice infections are highly contagious.

Benzyl alcohol topical side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

If the medicine gets in your eyes or on your skin, rinse with water. Call your doctor at once if you have severe stinging, itching, or irritation of the eyes or skin after rinsing.

Common side effects may include:

  • eye irritation; or

  • numbness or irritation after applying benzyl alcohol topical.

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.

What other drugs will affect benzyl alcohol topical?

Medicine used on the skin is not likely to be affected by other drugs you use. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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

More about benzyl alcohol topical

Consumer resources

Other brands: Ulesfia

Professional resources

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