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Sanofi Wins US Approval for Anti-Lice Shampoo

From Associated Press (February 7, 2012)

WASHINGTON -- Drugmaker Sanofi said Tuesday it received U.S. approval for a prescription-strength shampoo to treat head lice in children six months old and up.

The company's Sklice Lotion uses a parasite-killing drug called ivermectin, which has long been used in pill-form to treat various worm infestations. Sanofi said in a statement that Sklice was developed to "meet the demand for an effective, convenient head lice treatment that works differently and is well-tolerated in children."

The Food and Drug Administration approved the drug based studies in over 780 patients, in which a majority of those using the lotion were lice-free. After two weeks most patients did not require daily combing to remove nits, or lice eggs.

The most common side effects reported with Sklice include eye infection, eye irritation, dandruff and dry skin.

Lice are tiny grayish-white bugs that infest a scalp, sucking tiny amounts of blood every few hours. Itching results from the saliva they inject as an anticlotting chemical. They can be spread from head-to-head contact or sharing brushes, hats and pillows.

Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses have long recommended that students with lice eggs, and most recently students with live head lice, be allowed to stay in class.

Sanofi is headquartered in Paris, with U.S. operations based in New York.

Posted: February 2012