Headlice

Doses are oral and for adults unless otherwise stated. Visit the Health Products Regulatory Board website or the printed Irish Medicines Formulary for drug SPCs, dosage, contraindications, interactions, or IMF/BNF/BNFC/MIMS. See guidance on dosing in children for quick reference dosage/weight guide.

Letters indicate strength of evidence range from A+ (systematic review) to D (informal opinion). Statins can interact with some antibiotics and increase the risk of rhabdomyolysis. Amiodarone and drugs which prolong the QT interval can interact with many antibiotics. Many antibiotics increase the risk of bleeding with anticoagulants. Please refer to our Drug Interactions Table for further information.


Comments

Treatment recommended for persons with active infection, i.e. live lice.  Need to rotate insecticide used.  All members of the affected household should be treated simultaneously.  Isopropyl myristate should be first treatment choice considering UK cure rates below:

  • Isopropyl myristate - 82%
  • Dimethicone 4% -  70%
  • Malathion 0.5%  - 33 %  Permethrin  -13 % (Permethrin (Lyclear Dermal Creme) is used for crab lice and scabies)

Treatment

Wet Combing has shown cure rates of 57%.  One session every 4 days for at least 2 weeks, continued until no lice are seen for 3 consecutive sessions. This is recommended in all cases, in addition to when treatments below are used.

  • Isopropyl myristate (Full Marks Solution™) 

OR

  • Dimethicone 4% (Hedrin™) Hedrin  - Apply for 15 minutes to dry hair.

OR

  • Permethrin (Lyclear Dermal Rinse)

OR

  • Malathion (Derbac) preparation (availability can be limited )

NB : second treatment is required 7 days after each initial treatment .

We recommend patients use the website developed by HSE/ICGP/IPU partnership www.undertheweather.ie for tips on how to get better from common infections without using antibiotics, what you can do for yourself or a loved one and when to seek help.

The HSE Health A-Z website provides patient information on many hundreds of conditions and treatments.

Click here to view information on Headlice

Reviewed June 2016