Font Size
A
A
A
...
6
...

Lice (cont.)

Lice Medications

Follow the doctor's instructions for prescription anti-lice agents, if prescribed.

  • Do not apply to eyes, face, or mucous membranes.
  • Discuss treatment with the doctor if you are pregnant.
  • Common prescription anti-lice agents
    • Elimite cream (permethrin 5%) may be used in children over 2 months of age.
    • Kwell shampoo or cream (lindane 1%) is generally considered at "last ditch" medication due to the possibility of neurotoxicity enhanced by absorption through open sores or excessive application. Guidelines recommend that patients weight at least 110 pounds to use this treatment.
    • Ovide lotion (malathion 0.5%) may be used in children over 6 years of age. There are few side effects (stinging when open sores are exposed). It is an alcohol-based preparation and thus hair dryer and curling iron use should be avoided due to a potential flammable reaction.
    • Ulesfia (benzyl alcohol 5%) is a new product useful for head lice only and may be employed for patients over 6 months of age. Since it does not kill the nits, a repeat application is necessary seven days after the initial treatment.
  • If you have ragweed allergies, avoid permethrin (Elimite, Nix) and pyrethrin (Rid, A-200) products.
  • Lindane is considered a second-line treatment if other medications fail or are not tolerated. It is not very safe in children and may cause neurotoxicity (dizziness, seizures).
  • Studies in 2001 demonstrated that combination therapy using topical 1% permethrin (Nix) and the oral antibiotic trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Septra or Bactrim) was effective for head-lice infestations which were poorly responsive to traditional therapies.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/8/2014
Next Page:
...
6
...

Must Read Articles Related to Lice

Crabs (Pubic Lice)
Crabs Crabs (pubic lice) is a parasitic infection. Causes of crabs include sexual contact with an infected person, contaminated towels, bedding, or clothing. The main...learn more >>
Scabies
Scabies Scabies is a skin condition that causes severe itching. Scabies lesions on the skin may look like pimples, and the skin may also be red. Treatment involves wash...learn more >>
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
Sexually Transmitted Diseases Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are among the most common infectious diseases in the United States. STDs can be spread through any type of sexual activity ...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Lice:

Head Lice Infestation Advice - Treatment

How did you treat your head lice infestation?

Head Lice - Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your head lice?

Head Lice Infestation - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with head lice infestation (pediculosis).




Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Lice »

Louse infestation remains a major problem throughout the world. Head louse infestation among school children has reached epidemic proportions in many parts of the United States.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary