What are the mechanism of action for benzyl alcohol in the treatment of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

Updated: Aug 16, 2019
  • Author: Lyn C C Guenther, MD, FRCPC, FAAD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Agents that work by clogging the respiratory spiracles of lice offer an alternative to neurotoxic pediculicides. [35, 36] This is the mechanism of action of benzyl alcohol lotion 5% (Ulesfia), which is approved by the FDA for treatment of head lice in patients aged 6 months or older; the benzyl alcohol inhibits lice from closing their respiratory spiracles, allowing the lotion to obstruct the spiracles.


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