Benzyl Alcohol Topical : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More
Benzyl alcohol lotion is used to treat lice (small insects that attach to the skin) in adults and children 6 months of age and older. It should not be given to children under 6 months of age. Benzyl alcohol is in a class of medications called pediculicides. It works by killing the lice. Benzyl alcohol lotion will not kill lice eggs, so the medication must be used a second time to kill lice that may hatch from these eggs.
How should this medicine be used?
Topical benzyl alcohol comes as a lotion to apply to the scalp and hair. It is usually applied to the scalp and hair in two or three treatments. The second benzyl alcohol lotion treatment should be applied about a week after the first. Sometimes a third treatment with benzyl alcohol lotion may be necessary. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you do not understand. Use benzyl alcohol lotion exactly as directed. Do not use more or less, or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor will prescribe a specific amount of benzyl alcohol lotion based on the length of your hair. Make sure you use enough lotion to cover the entire area of the scalp and hair.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient. Read these instructions carefully.
Benzyl alcohol lotion should only be used on hair and scalp. Avoid getting benzyl alcohol lotion in your eyes.
If you get benzyl alcohol lotion in your eyes, flush them with water right away. If your eyes are still irritated after rinsing with water, call your doctor or seek medical help immediately.
To use the lotion, follow these steps:
- Use a towel to cover your face and eyes. Make sure to keep your eyes closed during this treatment. You may need an adult to help you apply the lotion.
- Apply benzyl alcohol lotion to dry hair and scalp. You will also need to apply the lotion to the areas of the scalp behind the ears and on the nape of the neck. Make sure you use enough lotion to cover the entire scalp area and all the hair on your head.
- Keep the lotion on your hair and scalp for 10 minutes after you finish applying the lotion. You must use a timer or clock to keep track of time.
- After 10 minutes, rinse the lotion from your scalp and hair with water in a sink. You shouldn’t use a shower or bathtub to rinse off the lotion because you don’t want the lotion to spill onto the rest of your body.
- You and anyone who helped you apply the lotion should wash your hands thoroughly after the application and rinsing steps.
- You can shampoo your hair after rinsing the lotion from your scalp and hair.
- A lice comb can also be used to remove dead lice and nits (empty eggshells) after this treatment. You may also need an adult to help you do this.
- You will need to repeat this entire process in a week to kill the lice that hatch from the eggs.
After using the Benzyl Alcohol Lotion, disinfect all recently used clothing, underwear, pajamas, hats, sheets, pillowcases, and towels. These items should be washed in very hot water or dry cleaned. You should also wash combs, brushes, hair clips, and other personal care items in hot water.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using benzyl alcohol lotion,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to benzyl alcohol, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in benzyl alcohol lotion. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take.
- Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had a skin or other medical condition.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while using benzyl alcohol lotion, call your doctor.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
It is important to apply benzyl alcohol lotion again one week after the first application. If you miss the second treatment, call your doctor.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Benzyl alcohol lotion may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- itching of the scalp area
- redness of the scalp area
- numbness or pain in the scalp area
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- irritation of the scalp area
- infected or pus filled areas of skin in the scalp area
Benzyl alcohol lotion can cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medicine.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit a report online to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children. Store at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Do not freeze.
Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and others cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medications is through a drug take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage / recycling department to find out about take-back programs in your community. Check out the FDA drug safe disposal website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children, as many containers (such as those containing weekly pills and those for eye drops, creams, patches and inhalers) are not child-resistant and small children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately place the medicine in a safe place, one that is upright and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
If someone drinks benzyl alcohol lotion, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has passed out or is not breathing, call your local emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all your appointments with your doctor.
Don’t let anyone use your medicine. Your prescription may not be refilled. If you think you need further treatment, call your doctor.
Head lice are usually spread by close head-to-head contact or by items that come into contact with your head. Don’t share combs, brushes, towels, pillows, hats, scarves, or hair accessories. Be sure to check all members of your immediate family for head lice if another family member is receiving head lice treatment.
It is important that you keep a written list of all the prescription and over-the-counter (over-the-counter) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should take this list with you every time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to take with you in case of emergencies.
Disclaimer: DrLinex has made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.