Permethrin

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Permethrin Brand Names

Acticin | Elimite | Nix Lice Killing Creme Rinse

What is Permethrin

Permethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid used primarily as a topical scabicide and pediculicide.

Permethrin is a synthetic mixture of cis- and trans- isomers of pyrethrin chemically altered have more light and heat stability versus the natural pyrethrins.

Permethrin is a commonly used agricultural pesticide and insect repellent; as a drug it is considered the treatment of choice for pediculosis capitis (head lice infestation).

When used to treat head lice, a single application of 1% permethrin lotion is associated with a 97—99% cure rate; this cure rate is higher than that following application of 1% lindane.

Permethrin is also better tolerated than lindane therapy. However, resistance to permethrin has been documented in several countries, including Argentina, Czech Republic, France, Israel, and the United Kingdom.

In 1986, permethrin 1% lotion (Nix®) was approved by the FDA as a prescription drug for the treatment of head lice; this product was subsequently reclassified to nonprescription (OTC) status.

Permethrin 1% lotion is also approved for head lice prophylaxis (see Dosage).

Permethrin-based lice control sprays are available, but these are used to spray inanimate objects and are not for topical use on humans.

In September 1989, a higher strength permethrin 5% topical cream (Elimite®) was approved by the FDA as a prescription drug for the treatment of scabies.

Indications

  1. crusted (Norwegian) scabies
  2. pediculosis
  3. pediculosis prophylaxis
  4. Pediculus capitis
  5. Phthirus pubis
  6. Sarcoptes scabiei
  7. scabies

Side Effects

  1. edema
  2. erythema
  3. hypoesthesia
  4. pruritus
  5. rash
  6. skin irritation

Monitoring Parameters

  • laboratory monitoring not necessary

Contraindications

  • breast-feeding
  • infants
  • neonates
  • ocular exposure
  • pregnancy

Interactions

There are no drug interactions associated with Permethrin products.

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