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Spinosad (On the skin)

Spinosad (SPIN-oh-sad)

Treats head lice.

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is generally considered safe for most people. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Use this medicine as directed on the hair and scalp only. Do not get the medicine in your eyes, nose, mouth, and vagina. If it gets in your eyes, rinse them well with water.
  • Children will need an adult to apply the medicine for them.
  • Shake the bottle well before using.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after you use this medicine.
  • Apply the medicine directly to dry hair. Start closest to the scalp and then apply outward. Completely cover your entire scalp and all of your hair, from roots to tips. Use the whole bottle of medicine, if needed.
  • Leave the medicine on the hair and scalp for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, rinse your hair with warm water only. Dry with a clean towel. Comb hair with a fine-toothed comb to remove any nits (eggs) or nit shells. They look like small white dots.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have any skin problems.
  • Do not use this medicine on children younger than 6 months old because it contains benzyl alcohol which may cause serious reactions.
  • Check everyone in your household 7 days after treatment. If you find any live lice, tell your doctor.
  • Lice are easily spread from one person to another. To prevent the spread of lice, dry clean or wash your clothes, hats, and bedding in hot, soapy water. Dry in a hot dryer. Also wash personal care items such as brushes in hot, soapy water.
  • Do not use this medicine for a hair or scalp problem that has not been checked by your doctor.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 5/1/2020

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