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Benzyl Alcohol

Brand Name: Ulesfia

Generic Name: Benzyl Alcohol

Drug Class: Scabicidal Agents; Pediculicides, Topical

What Is Benzyl Alcohol and How Does It Work?

Benzyl alcohol is a prescription topical (for the skin) medication used as an anti-parasite medication. Benzyl alcohol topical is used to treat head lice in people between the ages of 6 months and 60 years old. Benzyl alcohol topical is for treating head lice only. It will not treat lice on other body areas.

Benzyl alcohol is available under the following different brand names: Ulesfia.

Dosages of Benzyl Alcohol:

Adult Dosages:


  • 5% (Ulesfia)

Pediatric Dosage:


  • 5 % (8 oz)


  • 10% (Zilactin)

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows:

Lice, Pediculosis

Adult Dosage:

  • Ulesfia: Apply lotion to dry hair, using enough to completely saturate hair and scalp, rinse off with water after minutes
  • Repeat treatment in 7 days

Pediatric Dosage:

  • Infants under 6 months: Do not use
  • Infants over 6 months (Ulesfia): Apply lotion to dry hair, using enough to completely saturate hair and scalp, rinse off with water after 10 minutes; repeat treatment in 7 days

Amount of Lotion Needed to Cover Scalp and Hair Completely (adult and pediatric):

  • Hair length 0-2 inches: 4-6 ounces
  • Hair length 2-4 inches: 6-8 ounces
  • Hair length 4-8 inches: 8-12 ounces
  • Hair length 8-16 inches: 12-24 ounces
  • Hair length 16-22 inches: 24-32 ounces
  • Hair length longer than 22 inches: 32-48 ounces

Cold Sores/Fever Blisters

Adult Dosage:

  • Zilactin: Apply to affected area up to every 6 hours

Pediatric Dosage:

  • Children under 2 years: Safety and efficacy not established
  • Children over 2 years (Zilactin): Apply to affected area every 6 hours


Rosacea, Acne, Shingles, Covid-19 Rashes: Common Adult Skin Diseases See Slideshow

What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Benzyl Alcohol?

Common side effects of Benzyl Alcohol include:

  • application site irritation
  • severe itching
  • reddening of the skin
  • reduced sensation or loss of sensation at the application site
  • irritation of eye
  • vision problems
  • pain
  • pink or red itchy rash
  • dry scalp (dandruff)
  • peeling skin
  • dryness
  • rash
  • heat burn (thermal burn)

This document does not contain all possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.

What Other Drugs Interact with Benzyl Alcohol?

If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider or pharmacist first.

Benzyl alcohol has no known severe interactions with other drugs.

Benzyl alcohol has no known serious interactions with other drugs.

Benzyl alcohol has no known moderate interactions with other drugs.

Benzyl alcohol has no known minor interactions with other drugs.

This information does not contain all possible interactions or adverse effects. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share this information with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your health care professional or doctor for additional medical advice, or if you have health questions, concerns or for more information about this medicine.

What Are Warnings and Precautions for Benzyl Alcohol?


This medication contains benzyl alcohol. Do not take Ulesfia if you are allergic to benzyl alcohol or any ingredients contained in this drug.

Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center immediately.


  • None

Effects of Drug Abuse

  • No information available

Short-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Benzyl Alcohol?"

Long-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Benzyl Alcohol?"


  • Not ovicidal (does not kill eggs)
  • May cause contact dermatitis
  • Avoid in neonates
  • Avoid eye exposure
  • Use in children must be done under adult supervision
  • Safety of lotion not established in patients over 60 years
  • Gasping syndrome reported when used in neonates
  • If condition does not improve within 7 days or swelling or rash develops notify healthcare provider

Pregnancy and Lactation

  • Benzyl alcohol may be acceptable for use during pregnancy. Either animal studies show no risk but human studies are not available or animal studies showed minor risks and human studies were done and showed no risk.
  • Benzyl alcohol excretion in breast milk is unknown. Use benzyl alcohol with caution if breastfeeding.


Ringworm is caused by a fungus. See Answer
Medscape. Benzyl Alcohol.
RxList. Ulesfia.

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