Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System
Benzyl alcohol inhibits lice from closing their respiratory spiracles, allowing the vehicle to obstruct the spiracles and causing the lice to asphyxiate.
Benzyl benzoate is a benzoate ester obtained by the formal condensation of benzoic acid with benzyl alcohol. Benzyl benzoate is one of the older preparations used to treat scabies. Scabies is a skin infection caused by the mite sarcoptes scabiei. Benzyl benzoate is lethal to this mite and so is useful in the treatment of scabies. It is also used to treat lice infestation of the head and body. Benzyl benzoate is not the treatment of choice for scabies due to its irritant properties.
Dimeticone is used in many pharmaceutical and cosmetic preparations. A 4% concentration has been found to affect the physico-physiological activity of lice.
Disulfiram is an inhibitor of numerous enzymes. Disulfiram is used to support the treatment of chronic alcoholism.
The principal physiological action in insects (lice) exposed to permethrin is induction of electrochemical abnormalities across the membranes of excitable cells, leading to sensory hyperexcitability, inco-ordination and prostration. It is assumed that the mode of action against arachnids (mites) is similar.
Phenothrin, also called sumithrin and d-phenothrin,1 is a synthetic pyrethroid that kills adult fleas and ticks. It has also been used to kill head lice in humans. d-Phenothrin is used as a component of aerosol insecticides for domestic use. Phenothrin is often used with methoprene, an insect growth regulator that interrupts the insect’s biological life cycle by killing the eggs.