Lice - Medications
Medicine choices continued...
If these OTC or prescription medicines aren't working, your doctor may prescribe a different medicine to help get rid of lice. These include ivermectin (Sklice or Stromectol), permethrin 5% (Elimite), and spinosad (Natroba). In rare cases, lindane may be prescribed. But lindane is falling out of favor because of the potential for serious nervous system side effects. The American Academy of Pediatrics no longer recommends lindane as a treatment for head lice.
Antihistamines (both prescription and nonprescription)
can help relieve the itching that often occurs with lice. These medicines may cause
drowsiness. Don't give antihistamines to your child unless you've checked with
the doctor first.
If there is a serious skin infection,
antibiotics may be needed.
What to think about
It is not necessary to remove
lice eggs from hair after treatment with topical medicines, but some people
may wish to remove them for cosmetic reasons.
Most products used
to treat lice may cause side effects if they are not used properly. Never use a
product more than two times (with less than 7 days between uses) without first
consulting a doctor.
There is some concern that lice are becoming
resistant to (can no longer be killed by) permethrin or other medicine used to
treat lice infestations. It is also possible that lice may persist after
treatment because the medicine was not used properly or because the person was
reinfected by someone else who was still infected with lice.
Wet combing is an option for infants who can't use lice medicines.