Philadelphia Business Journal | John George | August 22, 2012
Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of French pharmaceutical company Sanofi, said its Sklice topical treatment for head lice infestations became commercially available by prescription Tuesday in U.S. pharmacies.
Head lice cases have been rapidly increasing in the United States, affecting an estimated 6 million to 12 million children aged 3 to 11 each year, according to the company.
Sklice was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in February for use in patients 6 months of age and older.
Sanofi Pasteur of Swiftwater, Pa., said the Sklice lotion should be used in the context of an overall lice management program, which includes washing (in hot water) or dry-cleaning all recently worn clothing, hats, used bedding and towels, as well as washing personal care items such as combs, brushes and hair clips in hot water. No nit combing is required; however, if desired, a fine-tooth comb may be used to remove dead lice and nits, the company said.
The lotion contains a broad-spectrum antiparasitic agent, ivermectin, which was developed from a soil bacterium that produces a family of compounds (known as avermectins) shown to bind selectively and with high affinity to certain ion channels present in invertebrate nerve and muscle cells but not in mammals. The resulting increased permeability of the cell membrane causes paralysis and death in certain parasites including lice.