Lice Resistant to Common Treatments
WebMD News Archive
Physicians may be asked to treat patients who have had no success with
over-the-counter products, but few prescription products are available today,
and all are controversial. Many physicians, when faced with this problem,
simply give their patients literature from the lice treatment manufacturers. If
they do write a prescription, it may be for Lindane, which used to be available
without a prescription under the name Kwell. But Lindane has been linked to
serious nerve damage and deaths and is not recommended by most experts.
The development of new, safe, and effective lice treatments has been
hampered by a lack of funding for research facilities where lice can be raised
and thoroughly studied, says Clark.
"We have never really given enough thought to a resistance management
strategy," says Clark. "What we do is market one thing at a time and
use it until it becomes useless. What I find very unacceptable is that everyone
knows [resistance] is out there and nobody is doing anything about it."
"We still have the old tried-and-true method, which was tried in me in
1940, and that is to cut all the hair off," says Butler. "And
hand-combing. That has been used forever. Even the Pharaohs were buried with
combs, and they found nits on the combs."
The study was funded by the National Pediculosis Foundation.
- Researchers have shown that lice in this country have become resistant to
permethrin, the active ingredient found in the most popular lice treatment
- One pharmacist recommends that the best way to treat lice is with a comb
- Prescription products are available, but their use is controversial because
of negative side effects.