This medication is used to treat scabies, a condition caused by tiny insects called mites that infest and irritate your skin. Permethrin belongs to a class of drugs known as pyrethrins. Permethrin works by paralyzing and killing the mites and their eggs.
How to use permethrin topical
This medication is for use on the skin only. Apply this medication as soon as possible after it is prescribed. Apply the medicine from your head to the soles of your feet, including under your nails and in skin folds such as between the toes, as directed. Massage the cream into the skin. Do not use more medication than prescribed. Wash off the cream after 8-14 hours by showering or taking a bath.
Symptoms of scabies include an intense itching that is usually worse at bedtime. You may also see small, fine, wavy lines on the skin with a tiny insect at the end (a burrow). Burrows are usually found on finger/toe webs, wrists, elbows, armpits, belt line, lower buttocks, female nipples, or male genitals. Even if permethrin kills all the scabies, the dead mites can still make you itch for up to 4 weeks after treatment. Ask your doctor about other medications that may be used to soothe the itching. Tell your doctor if your condition lasts or gets worse 2 weeks after treatment. Your doctor may need to look for living mites and recommend more treatment.
Skin irritation, including itching, swelling, and redness, may occur with scabies and temporarily worsen after treatment with permethrin. Mild burning or stinging may also occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using permethrin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using this medication.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: dizziness, severe headache, severe vomiting, weakness, seizures.
Do not share this medication with others.
One application is usually all that is needed. To avoid giving scabies to another person or getting it again, clothing and bed linens that have been in contact with your skin less than 2 days before treatment should be machine-washed with hot water and dried in a hot dryer for 20 minutes, dry cleaned, or removed from body contact for 72 hours.
People who are in close contact with the infected person, such as members of the same household, should also be checked for scabies.
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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.