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What Is Spinosad Used For?

If you have head lice, your healthcare provider may recommend spinosad, an insecticide that also happens to be used in lawn and garden products. It is meant to be used in addition to other lice-treating measures, such as treating the house. Children under the age of four, and especially under the age of six months, should not use spinosad.

An Overview of Uses for Spinosad

Spinosad (Natroba®) is a prescription medication licensed to treat head lice. It comes in the form of a liquid that is applied to the hair and scalp for 10 minutes for one or two treatments (seven days apart, if the second treatment is needed).
Also called Pediculus humanus capitis, head lice are small, wingless insects. A head louse (head lice is plural) has three pairs of legs located directly behind the head. The legs end in sharp claws that are designed for feeding and allow the louse to hold on tightly to hair or clothing.
The most common symptom of head lice is itching. This is because the saliva of head lice causes an allergic reaction. Keep in mind, however, that not everyone with head lice will have symptoms.
Head lice can be anywhere on the scalp, but are most commonly seen behind the ears and on the back of the head near the neckline. When looking at the scalp, very few head lice are usually seen. This is because they move rather quickly. However, there are usually many nits (lice eggs) at the base of the scalp.
(Click Signs of Head Lice for more information.)
To get rid of head lice, you must do two things: kill the live lice on the head, and remove all the nits (eggs) from the hair. This involves three treatment steps:
  • Careful combing of the hair (nit-picking)
  • Medications (see Medications for Head Lice), such as spinosad
  • Treating the house.
(Click How to Get Rid of Head Lice to learn the proper way to nit-pick and treat the house. Click Home Remedy for Head Lice to learn about alternative treatments. This includes a discussion on some common home remedies, such as tea tree oil and olive oil.)
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Spinosad Drug Information

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