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Ulesfia is a head lice medication that works by killing adult lice. Because it does not affect the eggs, it is necessary to use two applications of this medication (approximately one week apart). The amount you will use depends on your hair length. Side effects may include skin irritation or numbness at the application site.

What Is Ulesfia?

Ulesfia® (benzyl alcohol lotion) is a prescription medication approved for treating head lice. It can be used to treat children as young as six months of age.
(Click Ulesfia Uses for more information on what the medication is used for, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes This Medication?

Ulesfia is made by Contract Pharmaceuticals Limited for Shionogi Pharma, Inc.

How Does Ulesfia Work?

The way Ulesfia works is unique. It does not work by affecting nerve signals like most other lice treatments.
The active ingredient in this medicine (benzyl alcohol) paralyzes the breathing holes of the lice. The inactive ingredients in the lotion then clog up the breathing holes, causing the lice to suffocate. This process kills adult lice but does not affect the eggs, which is why two treatments are necessary.

When and How to Use It

Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with Ulesfia include the following:
  • Ulesfia is usually applied two times, with seven days in between applications.
  • Your healthcare provider will tell you exactly how much Ulesfia to apply; people with long hair need to use more than people with short hair.
  • Apply the lotion to dry hair. The hair and scalp should be saturated with the product. Be especially careful to treat the back of the neck and behind the ears.
  • Leave the lotion on for 10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. You may shampoo the hair immediately after treatment.
  • Avoid contact with the eyes and face. This is best done by covering the face with a towel throughout the entire process.
  • You may use a lice comb to remove the dead lice.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be used as prescribed. Ulesfia will not work if you do not use enough or if you do not use two treatments.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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