Benzyl Alcohol

Benzyl alcohol is a prescription topical (for the skin) medication used as an anti-parasite medication. Benzyl alcohol topical is used to treat head lice in people between the ages of 6 months and 60 years old. Benzyl alcohol topical is for treating head lice only. It will not treat lice on other body areas.

Benzyl alcohol is an organic compound with the chemical formula C6H5CH2OH. The IUPAC name of this compound is phenyl methanol. At room temperature, benzyl alcohol exists as a colourless liquid that has a mildly aromatic smell. When this aromatic alcohol is deprotonated, the resulting anion is called a benzylate.

This compound is not very soluble in water. However, it forms miscible mixtures with diethyl ether and other alcohols. Many plants are known to naturally produce C6H5CH2OH. The essential oils extracted from jasmine, ylang-ylang, and hyacinth contain some amount of benzyl alcohol.