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World's Best Advice for your Common Cold!

78. Head lice report (part 3 of 3)

(CONTINUED from part 2)

 from article in Forbes online magazine November 28, 2012

Most appealing, the study was based on a one-time 10-minute application with no nit

Head Lice

2nd most common disease after common cold for children under 12

combing. Tell that to anyone battling lice and they’ll be waiting outside the doctor’s office when the doors open tomorrow. Add a second dose a week later, or some vigilant nit removal, and it should be possible to get to 100 percent efficacy.

Sklice could be a huge seller for Sanofi; the FDA reports there are 6 to 12 million cases of head lice infestation  in the U.S. each year. (It’s hard to know for sure because lice is under-reported; it’s not exactly a subject most people bandy about.) The typical consumer treats lice at home and doesn’t necessarily consult a doctor. But knowing that more effective prescription remedies are available would prompt anyone I know to make the call.

Ivermectin taken orally has been used for many years to treat scabies, roundworms, and threadworms, and recently desperate patients have been asking doctors to prescribe it off-label for head lice. Two years ago a smaller, open-label study published in the journal Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine found oral ivermectin was 100 percent effective against lice with one or two doses. So it’s possible that the FDA will eventually approve oral ivermectin for lice as well.

The Competition: Natroba and Ulesfia

Clearly, a battle is just beginning in the prescription lice treatment arena. Pediatricians will decide which product to recommend based not just on research, but on cost, insurance coverage availability, and eventually on anecdotal reports from patients. They’ll hear about what worked, what didn’t, and what inconveniences and challenges families encountered during treatment and that will influence prescription preferences as much as anything the FDA says.

What hopefully will change the fastest, though, is the misdirection and misinformation that leaves consumers spending hundreds of dollars on ineffective products, children missing days of school, and families spending hundreds of tearful hours in nit combing using combs with teeth that are too far apart to actually remove nits.

 

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