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Head Lice Medication

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Pediculicide Lice Care® (Malathion) Children, Adult

Head Lice Medication - Dosage and How to Use

How should Head Lice Medication be used?

Medication Age​ Instructions
​Permethrin 5% Lotion​Less than 6 months​Apply once for 10 minutes and may repeat 7 days after initial treatment
​Malathion 0.5% Lotion​6 months and above​Apply once for 12 hours and may repeat 7 days after initial treatment
​ ​ General Instruction

​Application is done preferably in the evening

Avoid using combination shampoo/conditioner or conditioner before application.

Trim the child’s fingernails if they are long.

Instructions for Application

Malathion 0.5% Lotion (Lice Care®)
  • Do not wash hair unless the hair has been submerged in a chlorinated pool during the preceding 72 hours. In which case, hair should be washed and dried thoroughly before treatment.
  • Apply the lotion on hair until the scalp and hair are wet and thoroughly coated, especially behind the ears and on the back of the head and neck.
  • Do not expose to electrical heat sources (e.g. hairdryer) or open flames (e.g. lighted cigarettes) as medication is flammable.
  • Wash your hands immediately after the application process is complete or you may wish to wear gloves if you are applying the medication for other individuals.
  • Leave the medication on the hair for at least 12 hours (Malathion).
  • Use shampoo to wash off the medication after 12 hours (Malathion)
  • Rinse and comb wet hair with a fine-tooth comb, to remove dead lice and eggs from hair.
  • For Malathion 0.5% Lotion user, a hairdryer may now be used.

Permethrin 5% Lotion

  • Hair should be washed with regular shampoo and towel dried before treatment
  • Apply the lotion on hair until the scalp and hair are wet and thoroughly coated, especially behind the ears and on the back of the head and neck.
  • Wash your hands immediately after the application process is complete or you may wish to wear gloves if you are applying the medication for other individuals.
  • Leave the medication on the hair for at least 10 minutes (Permethrin).
  • Use shampoo to wash off the medication after 10 minutes (Permethrin).
  • Rinse and comb wet hair with a fine-tooth comb, to remove dead lice and eggs from hair.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

What should I do if I overdose?

  • Tags: Permethrin, Malathion
  • Updated on
  • Article contributed by Pharmacy Department KK Women's and Children's Hospital

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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