Heads-Up: New Lice Rx Approved

FDA approves Xeglyze (abametapir) to treat head lice

(RxWiki News) The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new treatment for head lice.

That newly approved medication is called Xeglyze (abametapir). The FDA approved it to treat head lice in patients who are 6 months old or older.

Head lice are tiny parasitic insects that spend their life cycles on human scalps and feed on human blood. Lice are particularly common among children.

Xeglyze is meant to be massaged into the scalp and throughout the hair of a person who has head lice. After leaving the medication on for 10 minutes, rinse it out of the hair and scalp with warm water.

This medication works by inhibiting the egg development and survival abilities of lice, meaning they cannot effectively multiply and continue living on the scalp. While this medication appeared effective in two trials of more than 700 patients, it is meant to be used along with traditional measures for combating head lice. These traditional measures include the following, according to the FDA:

  • Using a fine-tooth comb or lice comb to remove lice and nits (lice eggs)
  • Washing hair clips, combs, brushes and other personal care items in hot water
  • Washing all recently worn towels, bedding, clothing and hats in hot water

This medication should not be used in infants younger than 6 months old, according to the FDA. Abametapir can pose a potentially deadly risk of benzyl alcohol toxicity in very young infants.

Common side effects of Xeglyze included hair color changes, eye irritation, vomiting, rash, skin burning sensations, skin redness and skin irritation.

Approval of Xeglyze was granted to Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories.

If you or your child have head lice, ask your doctor or pharmacist about the best treatment for your case.

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Review Date: 
September 2, 2020