OTC Head Lice Treatments Are Losing Effectiveness

This article originally appeared here.
Share this content:
OTC Head Lice Treatments Are Losing Effectiveness
OTC Head Lice Treatments Are Losing Effectiveness

FRIDAY, Sept. 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Over-the-counter products have lost much of their effectiveness against head lice, according to research published in the September/October issue of Pediatric Dermatology.

Ellen Koch, M.D., a dermatologist with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and colleagues examined hundreds of studies regarding head lice from 1985 to 2014. According to the findings, pyrethrins and permethrin have drastically lost effectiveness. Recent research in the United States has estimated their effectiveness level at 25 percent when combined with combing of nits. That level is no better than a placebo, according to the study.

The report also warns about the use of a prescription product called lindane, due to potential toxicity. And, the researchers said there's no evidence to support the home remedies of olive oil, mayonnaise, or petroleum jelly. There's also no evidence supporting the use of essential oils, such as tea tree oils, and there's also no safety data on these treatments, the study authors added. The report supports several prescription products: ivermectin (Sklice or Stromectol), malathion (Ovide), spinosad (Natroba) and benzyl alcohol (Ulesfia).

"The availability of proven and safe prescription remedies offers the opportunity to manage head louse infestations strategically and effectively," the authors write. "Given the current situation of resistance and apparent inefficacy of over-the-counter treatments, primary health care providers should understand how to manage head lice infestations, take an active role in the diagnosis of infections, and guide appropriate use of well-tested, proven, U.S. Food and Drug Administration-reviewed products."

Abstract
Full Text

Share this content:

is free, fast, and customized just for you!

Already a member?

Sign In Now »


Sign up for myCME e-newsletters


Drug Lookup

Browse drugs by: BrandGenericDisease

More in Home

NTproBNP Levels Are Significantly Lower in Blacks

NTproBNP Levels Are Significantly Lower in Blacks

Higher NTproBNP levels linked to increased risk of death; this association did not differ by race

Data May Weigh on Pros/Cons of Expanded Care Optometry

Data May Weigh on Pros/Cons of Expanded Care ...

Majority of residents in Kentucky, Oklahoma, New Mexico live within 30 minutes of ophthalmologist

Gaps Seen Between Hearing Loss, Receipt of Medical Evaluation, Tx

Gaps Seen Between Hearing Loss, Receipt of Medical ...

About 20.6 percent of those with hearing less than excellent/good had visited doctor for hearing issues

is free, fast, and customized just for you!

Already a member?

Sign In Now »