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Some commonly used brand names are:
In the U.S.—
Permethrin (per-METH-rin) 1% lotion is used to treat head lice infections. It acts by destroying both the lice and their eggs. The 5% cream is used to treat scabies infections by destroying the mites which cause scabies.
This medicine is available in the following dosage form:
Before Using This Medicine
If you are using this medicine without a prescription, carefully read any precautions on the label. For topical permethrin, the following should be considered:
Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to permethrin; to other synthetic pyrethroids, such as those found in household insecticides; to pyrethrins or chrysanthemums; or to veterinary insecticides containing permethrin. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as preservatives or dyes.
Pregnancy—Permethrin has not been studied in pregnant women. However, this medication has not been shown to cause birth defects or other problems in animal studies.
Breast-feeding—It is not known whether permethrin passes into the breast milk. However, animal studies have shown that permethrin can cause tumors. Be sure you have discussed the risks and benefits of the medicine with your doctor.
Children—Studies on this medicine have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of topical permethrin in children with use in other age groups.
Older adults—Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of topical permethrin in the elderly with use in other age groups.
Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your health care professional if you are using any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine that is to be applied to the hair, scalp, or skin.
Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of topical permethrin. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have other medical problems, especially:
Proper Use of This Medicine
Keep this medicine away from the eyes . If you accidentally get some in your eyes, flush them thoroughly with water at once.
Permethrin lotion which is used to treat lice, comes in a container that holds only one treatment. Use as much of the medicine as you need and discard any remaining lotion properly.
For the treatment of head lice (1% lotion):
Head lice can be easily transferred from one person to another by direct contact with clothing, hats, scarves, bedding, towels, washcloths, hairbrushes and combs, or hairs from infected persons. Therefore, all members of your household should be examined for head lice and should receive treatment if they are found to be infected . If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.
For the treatment of scabies (5% cream):
Dosing—Follow your doctor"s orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average dose of permethrin. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
Storage—To store this medicine:
Precautions While Using This Medicine
To prevent reinfection or spreading of the infection to other people, good health habits are required. These include the following:
Side Effects of This Medicine
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:
Less common or rareBurning, itching, numbness, rash, redness, stinging, swelling, or tingling of the scalp
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.
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