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Benzyl benzoate

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

  • benzyl benzoate is a traditional treatment for scabies - it is licensed for use in adults, children and babies for the treatment of scabies
  • there is minimal absorption of the emulsion following application to the skin
  • benzyl benzoate can be irritant, it requires up to 3 treatments, each one day apart, and the scabies mite may be resistant to it; it is considered as a third line treatment behind permethrin 5% cream and malathion 0.5% liquid
  • benzyl benzoate can cause irritation to the skin, eyes and mucosal surfaces and should be avoided in infants and children where alternative ascaracided are available
  • there is a lack of safety data concerning the use of benzyl benzoate in pregnancy; breast-feeding should be suspended after application of treatment, but may be restarted once the emulsion has been washed off the body (1)

The summary of product characteristics should be consulted before prescribing this drug.


  1. Drugs and Therapeutics Bulletin (2002), 40 (6), 43-46.

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