Every year up to 12 million kids bring home head lice, which in turn triggers parental despair.
A typical response is to use rinses containing pesticides that need to be handled with care. Making matters worse, lice tend to become resistant to the chemicals.
Another response is to slather your child’s head with mayonnaise in the hope it will suffocate the little critters. However, lice can survive being coated with mayo for hours by closing their breathing apparatuses, which are called spiracles.
A new hope is an FDA approved prescription lotion called Ulesfia, which really does suffocate the bugs instead of poisoning them.
Ulesfia prevents the spiracles from closing, so lice asphyxiate (stop breathing) within minutes. Because of the way Ulesfia works, lice are less likely to become resistant, say researchers. You’ll still need to treat twice though. The first time is to kill the live lice, and the second time about a week later is to catch any lice that have been hatched from eggs.
Drugs.com as a resource
The following instructions and warnings are quoted directly from www.drugs.com:
How to use Ulesfia Lotion:
Use Ulesfia Lotion as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- An extra patient leaflet is available with Ulesfia Lotion. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
- Ulesfia Lotion is for topical use only. Do not get Ulesfia Lotion in the eyes. Keep eyes closed until Ulesfia Lotion is rinsed out of the hair. If using Ulesfia Lotion on a child, cover the eyes with a washcloth or towel.
- Apply enough of Ulesfia Lotion to saturate hair and scalp, especially behind the ears and on the back of the neck. Leave on hair for 10 minutes. Rinse with water. Repeat treatment after 7 days.
- Wash your hands immediately after using Ulesfia Lotion.
- All personal headgear, scarves, coats, and bed linens should be disinfected by machine washing in hot water and drying. Use the hot cycle of a dryer for at least 20 minutes.
- Personal articles of clothing and bedding that cannot be washed or dried by machine may be dry cleaned, sealed in a plastic bag for a period of about 2 weeks, or sprayed with a product specifically designed for this purpose.
- Personal combs and brushes may be disinfected by soaking in hot water above 130 degrees F (54 degrees C) for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Thoroughly vacuum rooms, including furniture, of individuals infected with lice.
- If you miss a dose of Ulesfia Lotion, use it as soon as you remember.
Continue to use it as directed by your doctor. Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Ulesfia Lotion.
Important safety information:
- Ulesfia Lotion is for external use only. Do not use it near the eyes or allow it to come into contact with the inside of the nose, mouth, or genitals. Irritation may occur if Ulesfia Lotion comes into contact with these areas. If Ulesfia Lotion gets in your eyes, flush with water immediately.
- If you have lice in the eyebrows or eyelashes, check with your doctor before using Ulesfia Lotion.
- Ulesfia Lotion has benzyl alcohol in it. Do not use it in NEWBORNS or INFANTS younger than 6 months old. It may cause serious and sometimes fatal nervous system problems and other side effects.
- Ulesfia Lotion should only be used under the direct supervision of an adult.
- Ulesfia Lotion may cause harm if it is swallowed. If you may have taken it by mouth, contact your poison control center or emergency room right away.
- Ulesfia Lotion may cause skin irritation or an allergic reaction to the skin (eg, rash, itching, redness). Contact your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
- Use Ulesfia Lotion with caution in ELDERLY patients older than 60 years old; safety and effectiveness in these patients have not been established.
- Ulesfia Lotion should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 6 months old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Ulesfia Lotion while you are pregnant. It is not known if Ulesfia Lotion is found in breast milk after topical use. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Ulesfia Lotion, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of Ulesfia Lotion:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Mild skin or scalp irritation, itching, numbness, or pain.
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); painful, red skin bumps or ulcers.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
The official Olesfia web site is http://www.ulesfialotion.com/.
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