How Do Topical Pediculicides Work?

Reviewed on 6/3/2021

WHAT ARE TOPICAL PEDICULICIDES AND HOW DO THEY WORK?

Topical pediculicides are neurotoxins (substances that alter the structure or function of the nervous system) used to treat scabies (mites that attach themselves to the skin) and lice infestation (small insects that attach themselves to the skin on the head).

Topical pediculicides work by paralyzing and killing lice and mites (insecticidal effect). They act on the nerve cell membrane of the parasite, disrupt the sodium channel transport, and thus paralyze the insects. Some pediculicides have an ovicidal effect (kill eggs).

An estimated 6 to 12 million head lice infestations occur each year in the United States among children 3 to 11 years of age

 HOW ARE TOPICAL PEDICULICIDES USED?

Conditions treated with topical pediculicides include:

  • Lice infestation:
  • Scabies (a contagious, intensely itchy skin condition caused by a tiny, burrowing mite)
  • Rosacea (a common skin condition that causes redness and visible blood vessels on the face)

WHAT ARE SIDE EFFECTS OF TOPICAL PEDICULICIDES?

Common side effects include:

Other rare side effects include:

Information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.

SLIDESHOW

Rosacea, Acne, Shingles, Covid-19 Rashes: Common Adult Skin Diseases See Slideshow

WHAT ARE DRUG NAMES OF TOPICAL PEDICULICIDES?

Drug names include:                               

References
https://reference.medscape.com/drugs/pediculicides-topical

https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-88067/pediculicide-11-topical/details#:~:text=This%20medication%20is%20used%20to,by%20paralyzing%20and%20killing%20lice

https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a698037.html

https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/treatment.html

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2012/0915/p535.html

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