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Benzyl benzoate (Topical route)

Pronunciation:

BEN-zil BEN-zoe-ate

Dosage Forms:

  • Lotion

Classifications:

Therapeutic—

Scabicide

Chemical—

Benzoic Acid

Uses of This Medicine:

Benzyl benzoate is used to treat lice and scabies infestations. This medicine is believed to be absorbed by the lice and mites and to destroy them by acting on their nervous system.

This medicine is available without a prescription.

Before Using This Medicine:

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies—

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Children—

Although there is no specific information comparing use of benzyl benzoate in children with use in other age groups, this medicine is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in children than it does in adults.

Older adults—

Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of benzyl benzoate in the elderly with use in other age groups. However, older people may have dry skin and the medicine may make the condition worse.

Other medicines—

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other interactions—

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems—

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Inflammation of the skin (severe)—Use of benzyl benzoate may make the condition worse

Proper Use of This Medicine:

Benzyl benzoate usually comes with patient directions. Read them carefully before using this medicine.

Use this medicine only as directed. Do not use more of it and do not use it more often than recommended on the label. To do so may increase the chance of absorption through the skin and the chance of side effects.

Keep this medicine away from the eyes and other mucous membranes, such as the inside of the nose, because it may cause irritation . If you accidentally get some in your eyes, flush them thoroughly with water at once.

Do not use benzyl benzoate on open wounds, such as cuts or sores on the skin or scalp. To do so may increase the amount of absorption, which may increase the chance of side effects.

Your sexual partner or partners, especially, and all members of your household may need to be treated also, since the infestation may spread to persons in close contact. If these persons have not been examined for infestation or if you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.

To use this medicine for lice:

  • If your hair has any cream, lotion, ointment, or oil-based product on it, shampoo, rinse, and dry your hair and scalp well before applying benzyl benzoate.
  • Apply enough medicine to thoroughly wet the dry hair and scalp or skin.
  • Allow the medicine to remain on the affected areas for 24 hours.
  • Then, thoroughly wash the affected areas with warm water and soap or regular shampoo.
  • Rinse thoroughly and dry with a clean towel.
  • After rinsing and drying, use a fine-toothed comb (less than 0.3 mm between the teeth) to remove any remaining nits (eggs) or nit shells from your hair, or, if you have fine hair, you may use a tweezer or your fingernails to pick nits out.

To use this medicine for scabies:

  • If your skin has any cream, lotion, ointment, or oil on it, wash, rinse, and dry your skin well before applying benzyl benzoate.
  • If you take a bath or shower before using benzyl benzoate, dry the skin well before applying the medicine.
  • Apply enough medicine to cover the entire skin surface from the neck down, including the soles of your feet, and rub in well.
  • Allow the medicine to remain on the body for 24 hours.
  • Then, thoroughly wash the body with warm water and soap.
  • Rinse thoroughly and dry with a clean towel.

Immediately after using benzyl benzoate, wash your hands to remove any medicine that may be on them.

Treatment may need to be repeated for severe infestation.

Dosing—

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For topical dosage form (emulsion):
    • For lice infestation:
      • Adults—Use just one time. For severe cases, treatment may be repeated two or three times after twenty-four hours.
      • Children—
        • For infants: Use mixed with three parts of water, just one time.
        • For older children: Use mixed with an equal quantity of water, just one time.
    • For scabies infestation:
      • Adults—Use just one time. For severe cases, treatment may be repeated after twenty-four hours one time anytime within five days.
      • Children—
        • For infants: Use mixed with three parts of water, just one time.
        • For older children: Use mixed with an equal quantity of water, just one time.

Storage—

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

To prevent reinfection or spreading of the infection to other people, good health habits are required. These include the following:

  • For lice infestation:
    • Disinfecting or washing combs, curlers, and brushes in very hot water (65 °C or 150 °F) for about 10 minutes immediately after using.
    • Washing in very hot water all recently worn clothing and used bed linens and towels, and drying them in a hot dryer for at least 20 minutes. Articles that cannot be washed may be dry-cleaned, pressed with a hot iron, or just placed in a hot dryer.
    • Sealing stuffed toys and other non-washable articles in a plastic bag for 2 weeks, or placing these items in the freezer (in sealed plastic bags) for 12 to 24 hours.
    • Vacuuming all rugs, mattresses, pillows, furniture, and car seats to get rid of fallen hairs with lice.
  • For scabies infestation: Washing all recently worn clothing such as underwear and pajamas, and used sheets, pillowcases, and towels in very hot water or dry-cleaning.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

Symptoms of overdose
Blister formation, crusting, itching, oozing, reddening, or scaling of skin
difficulty in urinating (dribbling)
jerking movements
sudden loss of consciousness

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Less common or rare
Burning or itching of skin

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Last Updated: 11/4/2014

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