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Medications for Head Lice

Other names: Lice, head; Nits; Pediculosis capitis, head lice

About Head Lice

Head lice are small, parasitic insects that infest hair on the head of people, and feed on blood from the scalp. Their six legs allow them to grasp and wander between hairs.

Drugs used to treat Head Lice

The following list of medications are in some way related to, or used in the treatment of this condition.

Drug name Rating Reviews Activity ? Rx/OTC Pregnancy CSA Alcohol
malathion 9.4 10 reviews
Rx B N

Generic name: malathion topical

Drug class: topical anti-infectives

For consumers: side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Elimite Rate Add review
Rx/OTC B N

Generic name: permethrin topical

Drug class: topical anti-infectives

For consumers: dosage, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Sklice 6.6 46 reviews
OTC C N

Generic name: ivermectin topical

Drug class: topical anti-infectives, topical anti-rosacea agents

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

permethrin 2.5 5 reviews
Rx/OTC B N

Generic name: permethrin topical

Brand names:  Elimite, Acticin, Nix, Lice Bedding Spray, Nix Cream Rinse, Nix Lice Control, RID Home Lice Control Spray for Surfaces …show all

Drug class: topical anti-infectives

For consumers: dosage, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

piperonyl butoxide / pyrethrins 3.0 2 reviews
Rx/OTC N N

Generic name: piperonyl butoxide / pyrethrins topical

Brand names:  A-200 Lice Treatment, Lice Treatment, RID, Good Sense Lice Killing Shampoo, Step 1, Licide, Rid Pediculicide, Pronto Lice Kill System, R & C Lice Treatment Kit, Tegrin-LT Lice Treatment Kit, Tisit, Triple X Pediculicide …show all

Drug class: topical anti-infectives

For consumers: dosage, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph

A-200 Lice Treatment Rate Add review
Rx/OTC N N

Generic name: piperonyl butoxide / pyrethrins topical

Drug class: topical anti-infectives

For consumers: dosage, side effects

ivermectin 6.6 46 reviews
Rx/OTC C N

Generic name: ivermectin topical

Brand name:  Sklice

Drug class: topical anti-infectives, topical anti-rosacea agents

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Natroba 8.0 5 reviews
Rx B N

Generic name: spinosad topical

Drug class: topical anti-infectives

For consumers: dosage, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

spinosad 7.7 11 reviews
Rx B N

Generic name: spinosad topical

Brand name:  Natroba

Drug class: topical anti-infectives

For consumers: dosage, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Acticin Rate Add review
Rx/OTC B N

Generic name: permethrin topical

Drug class: topical anti-infectives

For consumers: dosage, side effects

Nix Rate Add review
Rx/OTC B N

Generic name: permethrin topical

Drug class: topical anti-infectives

For consumers: dosage, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

benzyl alcohol 8.0 1 review
Rx/OTC B N

Generic name: benzyl alcohol topical

Drug class: topical anti-infectives

For consumers: side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph

Lice Treatment Rate Add review
Rx/OTC N N

Generic name: piperonyl butoxide / pyrethrins topical

Drug class: topical anti-infectives

For consumers: dosage, side effects

lindane 3.0 1 review
Rx C N

Generic name: lindane topical

Drug class: topical anti-infectives

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

RID 3.0 2 reviews
Rx/OTC N N

Generic name: piperonyl butoxide / pyrethrins topical

Drug class: topical anti-infectives

For consumers: dosage, side effects

Good Sense Lice Killing Shampoo, Step 1 Rate Add review
Rx/OTC N N

Generic name: piperonyl butoxide / pyrethrins topical

Drug class: topical anti-infectives

For consumers: dosage, side effects

Lice Bedding Spray Rate Add review
Rx/OTC B N

Generic name: permethrin topical

Drug class: topical anti-infectives

For consumers: dosage, side effects

Licide Rate Add review
Rx/OTC N N

Generic name: piperonyl butoxide / pyrethrins topical

Drug class: topical anti-infectives

For consumers: dosage, side effects

Nix Cream Rinse Rate Add review
Rx/OTC B N

Generic name: permethrin topical

Drug class: topical anti-infectives

For consumers: dosage, side effects

sodium chloride Rate Add review
OTC C N

Generic name: sodium chloride topical

Drug class: miscellaneous topical agents

For consumers:

For professionals: Prescribing Information

acetic acid Rate Add review
Rx/OTC N N

Generic name: acetic acid topical

Brand name:  Klout

Drug class: topical anti-infectives

For consumers: side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Klout Rate Add review
Rx/OTC N N

Generic name: acetic acid topical

Drug class: topical anti-infectives

For consumers: side effects

Nix Lice Control Rate Add review
Rx/OTC B N

Generic name: permethrin topical

Drug class: topical anti-infectives

For consumers: dosage, side effects

RID Home Lice Control Spray for Surfaces Rate Add review
Rx/OTC B N

Generic name: permethrin topical

Drug class: topical anti-infectives

For consumers: dosage, side effects

Rid Pediculicide Rate Add review
Rx/OTC N N

Generic name: piperonyl butoxide / pyrethrins topical

Drug class: topical anti-infectives

For consumers: dosage, side effects

Learn more about Head Lice

Symptoms and treatments

Drugs.com Health Center

Mayo Clinic Reference

Legend

Rating For ratings, users were asked how effective they found the medicine while considering positive/adverse effects and ease of use (1 = not effective, 10 = most effective).
Activity Activity is based on recent site visitor activity relative to other medications in the list.
Rx Prescription Only.
OTC Over the Counter.
Rx/OTC Prescription or Over the Counter.
Off-label This medication may not be approved by the FDA for the treatment of this condition.
EUA An Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) allows the FDA to authorize unapproved medical products or unapproved uses of approved medical products to be used in a declared public health emergency when there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives.
Pregnancy Category
A Adequate and well-controlled studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy (and there is no evidence of risk in later trimesters).
B Animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.
C Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
D There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
X Studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities and/or there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience, and the risks involved in use in pregnant women clearly outweigh potential benefits.
N FDA has not classified the drug.
Controlled Substances Act (CSA) Schedule
N Is not subject to the Controlled Substances Act.
1 Has a high potential for abuse. Has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. There is a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.
2 Has a high potential for abuse. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. Abuse may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
3 Has a potential for abuse less than those in schedules 1 and 2. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.
4 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 3. It has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 3.
5 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 4. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 4.
Alcohol
X Interacts with Alcohol.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.