FDA OKs new lice treatment

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new treatment for head lice, a pest that affects more than 1 million children each year and which has become increasingly resistant to older therapies.

The new drug, benzyl alcohol lotion, was approved for people ages 6 months and older.

Two studies examined a total of 628 people who received either a placebo or two 10-minute treatments, one week apart. Two weeks after the second treatment, more than 75% of people given the benzyl alcohol lotion were lice-free, the FDA says.

Although the FDA found benzyl alcohol to be safe, some people who used it developed skin, scalp or eye irritations. Some also developed numbness in the areas where the lotion was spread. Using this lotion on premature babies can cause serious problems, such as seizure, coma or death, according to the FDA.

Some parents have become concerned about the safety of older treatments, which use pesticides that can be absorbed through the skin.

Source : blogs.usatoday.com

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