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anses

French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety

Health warning: Do not use veterinary medecines to eliminate lice on children

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News of 05/10/2011

5 October 2011

ANSES wishes to remind the public that no anti-parasite, insecticide or acaricide product used to treat pets should ever be administered to humans, and especially not to children.

ANSES has been informed that some veterinary medicines have been used to eliminate lice on children.

The veterinary medicines are used to eliminate parasites, insects or ticks and mites on pets.
These veterinary medicines were first authorised for marketing (AMM) following a risk/benefit assessment for the specific animals for which they were intended. The toxicological and clinical studies on which this assessment was based only take into account the specific physiology and pathologies of the animal species concerned. While the risks of human exposure to these products have been identified and assessed, this has only been done for people handling and administering the veterinary medicines in question. The studies undertaken in no way correspond to clinical studies which might justify therapeutic, risk-free use on humans.

Insecticides or acaricides intended for humans are classified as medicines for use on humans and are also subject to prior authorisation for marketing by AFSSAPS(1). This AMM is awarded following suitable toxicological and clinical studies, which are different to those undertaken before authorising the marketing of veterinary medicines.

Consequently, ANSES would like to remind the public that no anti-parasite, insecticide or acaricide product used to treat pets should ever be administered to humans, and especially not to children. If children are infected with lice, ANSES recommends using suitable treatments, which depend on the age of the child, after consulting health professionals (pharmacists, doctors).

(1) The French Health Products Safety Agency