This prescription lotion must be applied to
dry hair and left on for 8 to 12 hours before rinsing off. Do not use hair conditioner.
Because this medicine contains alcohol, avoid sources of heat and open flame such
as hair dryers, curling irons, fireplaces, and cigarettes until it has
If lice are still present 7 to 9 days later, your doctor may suggest a second treatment.
Malathion kills lice and their eggs
Malathion works very well against
lice. It is less widely used than other lice medicines because treatment
requires 8 to 12 hours and because the odor is bad.
Malathion is not recommended for use by
women who are pregnant or breast-feeding or children younger than 2 years of age.
Malathion works very well at killing
lice after one treatment. It sometimes is used to treat lice that have become
resistant to permethrin and pyrethrins.
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you or your child has:
Call your doctor if your child has:
Side effects of this medicine include:
can cause severe respiratory problems if swallowed.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
Malathion contains alcohol and is able to catch fire until it dries. Do not expose it to open flame, cigarettes, or electric heat (such as hair dryers). Allow your hair to air-dry after you use this medicine.
Itching may last for 7 to 10 days after treatment. But itching
is not a reason to use the product again. Overuse of lice products
(such as using the product twice when only a single use is prescribed) can
irritate the skin and may increase the risk of side effects.
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant, do not use any medicines unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines can harm your baby. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. And make sure that all your doctors know that you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
August 30, 2012
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2012 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.