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Permethrin

Brand Name: Nix, Elimite, Acticin

Generic Name: permethrin

Drug Class: Scabicidal Agents; Pediculicides, Topical

What Is Permethrin and How Does It Work?

Permethrin is used to treat head lice, tiny insects that infest and irritate your scalp. Permethrin is also used to help avoid infestation in people who have close contact with someone who has head lice. It belongs to a class of drugs known as pyrethrins. Permethrin works by paralyzing and killing lice and their eggs (nits).

Permethrin may also be used for pubic lice.

Permethrin is available under the following different brand names: Nix, Elimite, and Acticin.

Dosages of Permethrin:

Dosage Forms and Strengths

Cream

  • 5%

Liquid

  • 1%

Lotion

  • 1%

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows:

Scabies

  • Cream: Apply from head to toe, leave on for 8-14 hours, rinse; may reapply in 7 days if live mites reappear
  • Single application usually curative

Head Lice and Nits (Eggs)

  • Lotion/cream rinse/liquid: apply to washed hair, leave on 10 minutes, rinse and comb out nits and eggs; may repeat in 7 days if lice or nits still present
  • Single application usually curative

Scabies and Head Lice, Pediatric

Children under 2 months

  • Safety and efficacy not established

Children over 2 months

  • Scabies: Apply cream from head to toe; leave on for 8-14 hours, rinse; may reapply in 7 days if live mites reappear; single application usually curative
  • Head Lice and Nits (Eggs): Apply lotion/cream/liquid to washed hair, leave on 10 min, rinse and comb out nits and eggs; may repeat in 7 days if lice or nits still present; single application usually curative

QUESTION

Ringworm is caused by a fungus. See Answer

What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Permethrin?

Side effects of permethrin include:

  • Mild and transient burning and stinging
  • Itching
  • Skin redness
  • Skin swelling
  • Skin rash
  • Numbness or tingling where the medicine was applied
  • Scabies symptoms may temporarily worsen after treatment

This document does not contain all possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.

What Other Drugs Interact with Permethrin?

If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider or pharmacist first.

Permethrin has no known severe, serious, moderate, or mild interactions with other drugs.

This information does not contain all possible interactions or adverse effects. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share this information with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your health care professional or doctor for additional medical advice, or if you have health questions, concerns or for more information about this medicine.

What Are Warnings and Precautions for Permethrin?

Warnings

  • This medication contains permethrin. Do not take Nix, Elimite, or Acticin if you are allergic to permethrin or any ingredients contained in this drug.
  • Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center immediately.

Contraindications

Effects of Drug Abuse

No information provided.

Short-Term Effects

  • May exacerbate itching, swelling, and redness temporarily.
  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Permethrin?"

Long-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Permethrin?"

Cautions

  • May exacerbate itching, swelling, and redness temporarily
  • For external use only
  • Avoid contact with eyes
  • May cause difficulty breathing or asthmatic attack in patients with ragweed allergies

Pregnancy and Lactation

  • Permethrin may be acceptable for use during pregnancy
  • Either animal studies show no risk but human studies are not available or animal studies showed minor risks and human studies were done and showed no risk
  • It is not known if permethrin is distributed in breast milk; a physician may temporarily withhold the drug while the mother is nursing

SLIDESHOW

Rosacea, Acne, Shingles, Covid-19 Rashes: Common Adult Skin Diseases See Slideshow
References
Medscape. Permethrin.
https://reference.medscape.com/drug/nix-elimite-permethrin-topical-343503
RxList. Elimite Side Effects Center.
https://www.rxlist.com/elimite-side-effects-drug-center.htm
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