malathion (Ovide)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is malathion-topical, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

  • Malathion is a pesticide used for killing head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis). It kills head lice and lice eggs by blocking the activity of enzymes (cholinesterase) that breaks-down and inactivates acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter) in head lice. This causes high levels of acetylcholine which leads to death of lice.
  • The FDA approved malathion in August, 1982.

What brand names are available for malathion-topical?

Ovide

Is malathion-topical available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for malathion-topical?

Yes

What are the uses for malathion-topical?

  • Malathion is used for treating people who have head lice and their eggs (Pediculus humanus capitis).

What are the side effects of malathion-topical?

Common side effects of malathion include:

  • Skin irritation
  • Scalp irritation
  • Other side effects include:
  • Mild conjunctivitis from accidental eye contact
  • Possible serious side effects include:
  • Chemical burn (second degree burn)

Malathion is flammable

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/6/2016

Quick GuideRingworm: Treatment, Pictures, Causes, and Symptoms

Ringworm: Treatment, Pictures, Causes, and Symptoms
FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

RxList Logo

Need help identifying pills and medications?

Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Skin Care & Conditions Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors