Generic Name: permethrin (per-METH-rin)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.
Permethrin lotion is used for:
Treating head lice or preventing head lice during an outbreak. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Permethrin lotion is a pediculocide. It works by killing lice and their eggs.
Do NOT use permethrin lotion if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in permethrin lotion
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using permethrin lotion:
Some medical conditions may interact with permethrin lotion. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have irritation or an infection of the skin in the area to be treated with permethrin lotion
- if you have asthma or other breathing problems
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with permethrin lotion. Because little, if any, of permethrin lotion is absorbed into the blood, the risk of it interacting with another medicine is low.
Ask your health care provider if permethrin lotion may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use permethrin lotion:
Use permethrin lotion as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Before using, wash hair with regular shampoo and towel dry.
- Permethrin lotion is for external use only. Do not get permethrin lotion in the eyes. Keep eyes closed until permethrin lotion is rinsed out of the hair. If using permethrin lotion on a child, cover the eyes with a washcloth or towel.
- Apply enough of permethrin lotion to saturate hair and scalp, especially behind the ears and on the nape of the neck. Leave on hair for 10 minutes, but no longer. Rinse with water.
- If live lice are observed after 7 days or more after the first application, treat hair and scalp a second time.
- Head lice live on the scalp and lay small white eggs (nits) on the hair close to the scalp. For proper head lice management, remove eggs with the comb provided.
- All personal headgear, scarves, coats, and bed linen should be disinfected by machine washing in hot water and drying. Use the hot cycle of a dryer for at least 20 minutes.
- Personal articles of clothing or bedding that cannot be washed or dried by machine may be dry cleaned, sealed in a plastic bag for a period of about 2 weeks, or sprayed with a product specifically designed for this purpose.
- Personal combs and brushes may be disinfected by soaking in hot water above 130 degrees F (54 degrees C) for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Thoroughly vacuum rooms, including furniture, of individuals infected with lice.
- If you miss a dose of permethrin lotion, use it as soon as you remember. Continue to use it as directed by your doctor.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use permethrin lotion.
Important safety information:
- Permethrin lotion is for external use only. Do not use it near the eyes or allow it to come into contact with the inside of the nose, mouth, or genitals. Irritation may occur if permethrin lotion comes into contact with these areas. If permethrin lotion gets in your eyes, flush with water immediately.
- If you have lice in the eyebrows or eyelashes, check with your doctor before using permethrin lotion.
- Permethrin lotion should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 2 months old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using permethrin lotion while you are pregnant. It is not known if permethrin lotion is found in breast milk after topical use. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use permethrin lotion, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of permethrin lotion:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Itching; mild burning or stinging; redness; swelling.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); shortness of breath; skin irritation.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Permethrin lotion may be harmful if swallowed. Symptoms may include dizziness; headache; loss of appetite; loss of consciousness; seizures; vomiting; weakness.Proper storage of permethrin lotion:
Store permethrin lotion at room temperature, between 59 and 77 degrees F (15 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, light, and moisture. Keep permethrin lotion out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about permethrin lotion, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Permethrin lotion is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take permethrin lotion or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about permethrin lotion. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to permethrin lotion. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using permethrin lotion.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.