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ParaPro's Lice Treatment Hits Shelves

Aug. 15--A new and easier-to-use treatment for head lice goes on the market today after seven years of development by a Carmel company.

Called Natroba topical suspension, the prescription medicine has been shown to kill head lice and their eggs with just one 10-minute application followed by shampooing.

Developer ParaPro is depicting Natroba as a lice treatment that is more effective and easier to use than the most common lice therapy, known by its brand name Nix. That treatment requires repeated applications and careful combing of the hair to remove lice eggs called nits.

The active ingredient in Natroba is derived from a microbe found in Caribbean soil and was licensed from Eli Lilly and Co. in 2002.

ParaPro won approval in January from the Food and Drug Administration to sell the drug as a cream rinse. It will be widely available in pharmacies and co-marketed among doctors and other medical professionals by Pernix Therapeutics.

"There's a lot of interest in it out there, based on emails and phone calls ParaPro has gotten from people wanting this," said company spokesman Ed West.

The United States has 6 million to 12 million cases of head lice infestations each year, mostly in children ages 3 to 12. The tiny insects live in the scalp and are easily spread despite being wingless.

Two studies of Natroba by ParaPro found that about 85 percent of study participants were lice-free after one treatment, compared with about 44 percent among those treated with Nix, which can be bought without a prescription.

The most common side-effects from Natroba were redness of the skin and eye irritation in 1 percent to 3 percent of users.


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Posted: August 2011