WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8, 2012 (HealthDay News) -- Sklice Lotion, a prescription-strength shampoo to treat head lice, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for people six months and older, the French product maker Sanofi said.
The shampoo contains ivermectin, which traditionally is prescribed in pill form to treat worm infections, the Associated Press reported.
The product's safety and effectiveness were evaluated in clinical studies involving more than 780 people. After two weeks, most participants who had been lice infested did not require daily combing to remove lice eggs, the wire service reported.
The most common adverse reactions included eye infection and irritation, dandruff and dry skin.
Lice are small, blood-sucking insects that cause itching from the saliva they inject into the scalp and nearby areas to prevent premature clotting. Infestations are spread by direct contact or by shared use of brushes and other items that touch the scalp, such as pillows and hats.
To learn more about head lice, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.