Benzyl alcohol

Benzyl alcohol treats head lice. This medication does not get rid of lice eggs so you will need to apply a second dose one week (7 days) later. Do not use this lotion in babies less than 6 months.

Benzyl alcohol Overview

Reviewed: February 14, 2014
Updated: 

Benzyl alcohol is a prescription medication used to get rid of lice in the scalp hair of children and adults. Benzyl alcohol belongs to a group of drugs called pediculicides. This medication works by suffocating the lice.

This medication comes in lotion form and is applied to dry scalp hair for 10 minutes and then rinsed out with water. A second application of benzyl alcohol is required, one week later, to kill lice that hatched from eggs.

Common side effects of benzyl alcohol include skin or eye itching, redness, and irritation. 

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Uses of Benzyl alcohol

Benzyl alcohol lotion is a prescription medicine used to get rid of lice in scalp hair of children and adults.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Benzyl alcohol Brand Names

Benzyl alcohol may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Benzyl alcohol Drug Class

Benzyl alcohol is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Benzyl alcohol

People using benzyl alcohol may have skin or eye:

  • itching,
  • redness,
  • irritation. If skin or eye irritation happens, rinse with water right away, then call your healthcare provider or go to the emergency department.

Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all the side effects of benzyl alcohol. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

 

Benzyl alcohol Interactions

This medication is unlikely to be affected by, or affect other medications. While no benzyl alcohol drug interactions have been identified, you should tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Not all drug interactions are known or reported and new drug interactions are continually being reported.

Benzyl alcohol Precautions

This medication should not be used in children less than 6 months of age as benzyl alcohol is a potentially dangerous ingredient when used in newborns.

Benzyl alcohol should only be used on children (6 months of age and older) under the direct supervision of an adult. Keep out of reach of children.

Benzyl alcohol may cause allergic reactions such as skin rashes. Tell your healthcare provider if you are allergic to benzyl alcohol, or any of its ingredients.

Benzyl alcohol should only be used on the hair and scalp. Avoid getting benzyl alcohol in your eyes and fce.

If benzyl alcohol gets in your eyes, flush them with water right away. If your eyes are still irritated after flushing with water, call your healthcare provider or get medical help right away.

Benzyl alcohol Food Interactions

Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of benzyl alcohol there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving benzyl alcohol.

Inform MD

Tell your healthcare provider if your baby was born early so your healthcare provider can decide if your infant is old enough for benzyl alcohol.

Before you use benzyl alcohol, tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • have any skin conditions or sensitivities
  • have any other medical conditions
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
  • are breastfeeding

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Benzyl alcohol and Pregnancy

Tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if benzyl alcohol can harm your unborn baby. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Benzyl alcohol and Lactation

Tell your healthcare provider if you are breastfeeding. It is not known if benzyl alcohol passes into your breast milk or if it can harm your baby. You should choose to breastfeed or use benzyl alcohol, but not both. Talk to your healthcare provider about other ways to feed your baby while using benzyl alcohol.

Benzyl alcohol Usage

Step 1

  • Cover your face and eyes with a towel and keep your eyes closed tightly.
  • Apply benzyl alcohol lotion directly to dry scalp and dry hair.
  • Benzyl alcohol lotion must cover your entire scalp and all scalp hair. Have an adult help you apply benzyl alcohol.

Step 2

  • Massage benzyl alcohol into your hair and scalp.
  • When your head is completely covered with enoughbenzyl alcohol, dripping will happen. Protect your eyes and skin from these drips with your towel.
  • Be sure to apply benzyl alcohol to the area behind your ears.
  • Be sure to apply benzyl alcohol to the back of your neck.

If not enough benzyl alcohol is used, some lice may escape treatment. It is important to use the full amount of benzyl alcohol prescribed by your healthcare provider.

  • Allow benzyl alcohol to stay on your hair for 10 minutes. Use a timer or clock.
  • Start timing after you have completely covered your hair and scalp with benzyl alcohol.

Step 4

  • After 10 minutes, completely rinse benzyl alcohol from your hair and scalp with water.
  • You or anyone who helps you apply benzyl alcohol should wash your hands after application.
  • You can shampoo your hair right after the application.
  • A lice comb may be used to remove the dead lice after both applications.

Step 5

One week (7 days) after your first application, repeat the steps above to help get rid of lice that hatched from eggs.

Benzyl alcohol Dosage

Apply the full amount of benzyl alcohol prescribed by your healthcare provider for each of your 2 applications one week apart. Your doctor will prescribe  a specific amount of benzyl alcohol based on your hair length. Be sure to cover all of your scalp area and hair.

Benzyl alcohol gets rid of lice but does not get rid of lice eggs so a second application is needed one week (7 days) after the first application.

  • Use benzyl alcohol exactly as prescribed. Your healthcare provider will prescribe the treatment that is right for you. Do not change your treatment unless you talk to your healthcare provider.
  • Use benzyl alcohol in two applications that are one week apart. Benzyl alcohol gets rid of lice but does not get rid of lice eggs so a second application is needed one week (7 days) after the first application.
  • Benzyl alcohol coats the lice on your scalp and scalp hair. It is important to use enough benzyl alcohol to coat completely every single louse and to leave it on your scalp for the full 10 minutes. 
  • Because you need to completely cover all of the lice with benzyl alcohol, you may need help in applying benzyl alcohol to your scalp and hair. Make sure that you and anyone who helps you apply benzyl alcohol reads and understands the Instructions for use.
  • Children need adult help in applying benzyl alcohol.
  • Do not get into eyes. If benzyl alcohol gets in the eye, flush with water right away.
  • Do not swallow benzyl alcohol. If swallowed, call your healthcare provider right away.
  • Wash your hands after you apply benzyl alcohol.

Benzyl alcohol Overdose

If someone swallows benzyl alcohol, call your local Poison Control Center or seek emergency medical attention right away.

Other Requirements

  • Store benzyl alcohol in a dry place at room temperature between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).
  • Do not freeze benzyl alcohol.
  • Keep benzyl alcohol and all medicines out of the reach of children.

To help prevent the spread of lice from one person to another, here are some steps you can take.

  • Avoid head-to-head contact at school, on the playground, in physical education classes, during sports activities, and while playing with other children.
  • Do not share combs, brushes, hats, scarves, bandannas, ribbons, barrettes, hair bands, towels, helmets, or other hair-related personal items with anyone else, whether they have lice or not.
  • Avoid sleepovers and slumber parties during lice outbreaks. Lice can live in bedding, pillows, and carpets that have recently been used by someone with lice.
  • After finishing treatment with lice medicine, check everyone in your family for lice after one week. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about treatments for those who have lice.
  • Machine-wash any bedding and clothing used by anyone having lice or thought to have been exposed to lice. Machine wash at high temperatures (150°F) and tumble in a hot dryer for 20 minutes.