TUESDAY, Jan. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Natroba (spinosad) Topical
Suspension 0.9 percent has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration to treat head lice in people aged 4 years and
Spread primarily by direct contact, head lice are not thought to
cause disease, the FDA said in a news release. The parasitic
insects feed on human blood, and live on the head, eyebrows and
Natroba is a topical medication designed to be applied to the
scalp or hair. It should be used exactly as prescribed, the agency
In clinical testing, 552 people were given a 10-minute treatment
with Natroba, and a second treatment was applied if live lice were
observed 10 days later. After 14 days, about 86 percent of users
were lice free, compared with 44 percent among study participants
who didn't get the drug.
The most common side effects were irritation of the eyes and
skin. The product contains benzyl alcohol, and is not recommended
for use in children under the age of 4 years, the FDA said.
Topically applied products containing benzyl alcohol have been
associated with serious reactions in younger children, including
death, the agency warned.
To learn more about head lice, visit the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.