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anses

French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety

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Updated on 04/08/2016

Head lice treatments

Veterinary medications should not be used for treating head lice in children

Keywords : Antiparasitics, Veterinary medicinal products

Antiparasitics, insecticides and anti-mite treatments intended for pets should never be used on humans, especially children. Veterinary medicinal products obtain marketing authorisation (MA) prior to marketing based on a risks vs benefits assessment for the animal they are to be used on. If the risks for humans have been identified and evaluated, it is only with regard to the risks for individuals who handle or administer the products. 

Veterinary drugs authorised as pet antiparasitics, insecticides or acaracides must never be used for treating children's head lice.

Veterinary medicinal products obtain marketing authorisation (MA) prior to marketing based on a risks vs benefits assessment for the animal they are to be used on. The toxicological and clinical studies used for the assessment take into account the physiology and potential pathologies of the animal species in question.  If the risks for humans have been identified and evaluated, it is only with regard to the risks for individuals who handle or administer the products.

These studies do not in any way involve clinical studies to justify the risk-free therapeutic use of these products on humans.

Insecticides and acaricides for humans are medicinal products specifically authorised for human use and are also subject to prior issuance of an MA by the French Medicines and Health Products Safety Agency (ANSM). The MA is granted following relevant toxicological and clinical studies, entirely different from those conducted for the delivery of veterinary MAs.

Therefore, antiparasitics, insecticides and anti-mite treatments intended for pets should never be used on humans, especially children.

In the event of lice infestation, we recommend you use the appropriate treatment, based on the child's age, and that you ask for advice from a healthcare professional (pharmacist, physician).