Drugs for Head Lice

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2016
Journal:The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
Date Published:Apr-05-2018

Head lice infestation occurs in all age groups, but especially in elementary school children. In most cases, transmission occurs by head-to-head contact.1

Pyrethrins are natural extracts from chrysanthemum flowers that are neurotoxic to lice. They are available over the counter (OTC), usually combined with piperonyl butoxide (Rid, and generics) to enhance their activity (Box). Pyrethrins are unstable in heat and light, do not kill all unhatched eggs, and require multiple treatments because they have no residual activity. Allergic reactions occur rarely in patients with ragweed or chrysanthemum allergy. Resistance to pyrethrins is now widespread.

Short Title:JAMA
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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith