Last update Dec. 11, 2023

Bencyl Benzoate

Low Risk

Possibly safe. Probably compatible. Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended. Read the Comment.

Benzyl benzoate is one of the oldest preparations used to treat scabies and head and body lice. Because it is very irritating to the skin and mucous membranes (Haustein 1989), alternative treatments are preferred. Topical application all over the skin.

At the time of the last update, we found no published data on its excretion in breast milk.

The degree of plasma absorption through the skin is unknown.

It is metabolized to benzyl alcohol (Fölster 2000), considered probably compatible with breastfeeding by some authors. (Briggs 2015)

Recommendations for Drugs in the Eleventh WHO Model List of Essential Drugs: compatible with Breastfeeding. (WHO 2002)

Product with few bibliographic references and/or very old, marketed in few countries. Safer known alternatives are preferable (Elgart 1996), especially during breastfeeding and more so during the neonatal period and in case of prematurity.

Avoid applying it on the breast or nipple. Otherwise, remove it thoroughly before nursing.


  • Ivermectin ( Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.)
  • Permethrin ( Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.)

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Bencyl Benzoate in other languages or writings:


Bencyl Benzoate belongs to this group or family:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Bencyl Benzoate in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Molecular weight 212 daltons


  1. WHO / UNICEF. BREASTFEEDING AND MATERNAL MEDICATION Recommendations for Drugs in the Eleventh WHO Model List of Essential Drugs. Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development (WHO/UNICEF) 2002 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  2. Fölster-Holst R, Rufli T, Christophers E. [Treatment of scabies with special consideration of the approach in infancy, pregnancy and while nursing]. Hautarzt. 2000 Abstract
  3. Elgart ML. A risk-benefit assessment of agents used in the treatment of scabies. Drug Saf. 1996 Jun;14(6):386-93. Review. Abstract
  4. Haustein UF, Hlawa B. Treatment of scabies with permethrin versus lindane and benzyl benzoate. Acta Derm Venereol. 1989;69(4):348-51. Abstract

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