The FDA has approved a new treatment for lice called Natroba (spinosad) Topical Suspension, which is intended for children and adults over the age of four.
Medical experts said as many as 12 million children get head lice every year. These numbers tend to spike as children head back to class.
“The product is applied for 10 minutes. You rinse, and you’re done. There’s no painstaking nit combing,” said Bill Culpepper is the president of ParaPRO, a pharmaceutical company that manufactures Natroba.
“Natroba provides another option for the topical treatment of head lice infestations, which are especially prevalent in the pediatric population,” said Julie Beitz, M.D., director of the Office of Drug Evaluation III in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
“Head lice is a common problem among school children in the United States,” Beitz added.
Found in the hair of humans, most lice are scavengers, feeding on skin and other debris found on the host’s body, but some species feed on sebaceous secretions and blood. They generally cannot survive for long if removed from their host.
The new treatment would be a good alternative to old treatments such as combing out the hair. Laura Tanglertpaibul’s children had head lice and said trying to get rid of the bugs is very time consuming.
“It probably takes two to three hours for one sitting, and we do that three times a day. It takes up your whole life,” Tanglertpaibul said. Natroba hit the market in August for lice treatment and is only available through prescription.