Head Louse Prescription Treatment Approved By FDA
The common head louse is growing resistant to time-tested treatments, but a new Food and Drug Administration-approved hair rinse, Natroba, could put an end to that.
“I expect it [Natroba] will be more effective than products in which geographic resistance patterns have been well established in the U.S.,” Shirley Gordon, director of the Head Lice Treatment and Prevention Project at Florida Atlantic University, told Today Health.
The prescription treatment Natroba, which contains the active ingredient spinosad, was approved in January and went on sale in August. In clinical trials, 84 percent of patients were free of lice in 14 days. Just 44 percent of those who used similar products saw the same results. Unlike older products, Natroba doesn't require tedious combing of lice eggs.
Spinosad causes the head louse to shake and exhaust itself to death. Natroba will cost the average family $36 with insurance coverage. Experts said less-expensive over-the-counter treatments, such as Nix, which uses the ingredient permethrin, should still be families' first defense.
Barbara Frankowski, pediatrician and author of the American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement on lice, also recommended a treatment of petroleum jelly or Cetaphil for three weeks with nightly comb-outs.
"Tedious and time consuming, but doable,” she said.