- What is malathion, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What are the uses for malathion?
- What are the side effects of malathion?
- What is the dosage for malathion?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with malathion?
- Is malathion safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about malathion?
What is malathion, 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?
Is malathion available as a generic drug?
Do I need a prescription for malathion?
What are the uses for malathion?
- Malathion is used for treating people who have head lice and their eggs (Pediculus humanus capitis).
What is the dosage for malathion?
- Dry hair and scalp should be thoroughly wet with malathion lotion, including the back of the head and neck. The hands should be washed after applying.
- The hair should not be covered and should dry naturally without using an electric heat source.
- The hair should be shampooed after 8 to 12 hours, rinsed and combed with a fine - toothed (nit) comb to remove dead lice and eggs.
- Malathion lotion should be applied again if lice are still present after 7 - 9 days.
Which drugs or supplements interact with malathion?
- There are no drug interactions listed for malathion.
Is malathion safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
What else should I know about malathion?
What preparations of malathion are available?
- Lotion: 0.5%
How should I keep malathion stored?
- Malathion should be stored at room temperature, 20 C - 25 C (68 F - 77 F). It is flammable and should be kept away from heat and open flame.
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Malathion (Ovide) is a prescription drug used to treat individuals with head lice and their eggs. Side effects, drug interactions, storage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
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Related Disease Conditions
Head lice infection is called pediculosis. Lice are parasites that feed on blood and can be found on the scalp and hair of infected people. Signs and symptoms of head lice infestation include a tickling sensation, itching, and sores on the head. Head lice may be eliminated with various over-the-counter shampoos and washing all clothing and bed linens in the hot water cycle. Combs and brushes should be disinfected, and the floor and furniture should be vacuumed.
Eye Care and Eye Disorder
Many common eye disorders resolve without treatment and some may be managed with over-the-counter (OTC) products. It's important to visit a physician or ophthalmologist is the problem involves the eyeball itself or the condition hasn't improved after 72 hours of use of an eye-care OTC product.
STDs in Men
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections transmitted during sexual contact. They may be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites. STDs in men cause no symptoms or symptoms like genital burning, itching, sores, rashes, or discharge. Common infections that are sexually transmitted in men include gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, hepatitis C and B, genital warts, human papillomavirus (HPV), and genital herpes. Some STDs in men are treatable while others are not. STDs are diagnosed with tests that identify proteins or genetic material of the organisms causing the infection. The prognosis of an STD depends on whether the infection is treatable or not. Use of latex condoms can help reduce the risk of contracting an STD but it does not eliminate the risk entirely.
Itch (Itching or Pruritus)
Itching can be a common problem. Itches can be localized or generalized. There are many causes of itching to include: infection (jock itch, vaginal itch), disease (hyperthyroidism, liver or kidney), reactions to drugs, and skin infestations (pubic or body lice). Treatment for itching varies depending on the cause of the itch.
Pubic Lice (Crabs)
Pubic lice (crabs) are parasitic insects found in the genital area, and are primarily spread through sexual contact. Symptoms of crabs include itching and visible nits (lice eggs) and crawling lice. Treatment includes using lice-killing shampoo and washing bedding and clothing in hot water.
Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids. Acne rosacea, staphylococcal bacteria, allergies, sensitivities to makeup or contact lens solutions, head lice, or other conditions may cause blepharitis. Symptoms and signs include itchy eyelids, burning sensation in the eyes, crusting of the eyelids, light sensitivity, red, swollen eyelids, loss of eyelashes, and dandruff of the lashes and eyebrows. Proper eyelid hygiene and a regular cleaning routine controls blepharitis.
Typhus is a disease caused by Rickettsia bacteria. Symptoms and signs include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and rash. Antibiotics are recommended as the treatment for endemic and epidemic typhus infections.
Bedbugs (Bed Bugs) vs. Lice
Bedbugs are small blood-sucking parasites that feed on mammals and birds. Some people do not have any symptoms of bedbug bites while others have them they include pain and reddish-colored skin lesions where the bite is. Bedbugs are found in temperate and tropical climates worldwide. Bedbugs usually feed every five to 10 days. Bedbug bites usually do not need treatment. Bedbug infestations are difficult to get rid of. Bedbugs are a problem worldwide, are resurging. There are three types of lice, head, body, and pubic. Head lice is a grey-white animal about the size of a sesame seed and can be mistaken for dandruff. Head lice are transmitted from the body to other household items. They produce between seven to 10 eggs (nits) annually. Head lice is transferred from head-to-head contact. Body lice are slightly bigger than head lice and look like head lice. Body lice is transferred from human to other household items. Pubic lice or "crabs" is distinctly different from the head and body louse. Pubic lice in adults is transferred by direct sexual contact. Children and others get pubic lice via nonsexual transmission from their parents, relatives, and friends who share clothing. Lice bites are bluish in color sore that develop on different areas of the body. Condoms do not prevent from getting pubic lice. The different types of lice have different treatment. Lice can be eradicated from your home.
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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.