A new head lice treatment has been approved by the FDA. The drug, spinosad, is less than 1 percent concentrated and can be used for both children and adults.
In order to gain approval, the drug has to prove successful in two separate, placebo-controlled trials on more than 550 participants.
For the study, each person was treated for a total of 10 minutes. The researchers waited one week and then evaluated. Many individuals had no lice present after one treatment, but if lice remained, an additional treatment and evaluation period took place.
The drug was found to be more effective than the control, as more than 85 percent of individuals taking spinosad had no signs of lice after 14 days. Only 44 percent were lice free from the control group.
Experts explain potential negative side effects from using the drug to be irritation or redness of skin and eyes.
While effective for children, it is not recommended for use on children under the age of 4.
The FDA warned that this drug should, at no time, be used on children under six months old. The drug contains benzyl alcohol, potentially leading to death in infants.
The drug is most effective when applied only to the scalp and hair, experts explain.