GENERIC NAME: PERMETHRIN CREAM RINSE - TOPICAL (purr-METH-rin)
BRAND NAME(S): NIX
USES: This medication is used to treat head lice, tiny insects that infest and irritate your scalp. Permethrin is also used to help avoid infestation in people who have close contact with someone who has head lice. It belongs to a class of drugs known as pyrethrins. Permethrin works by paralyzing and killing lice and their eggs (nits).OTHER This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.This drug may also be used for pubic lice.
HOW TO USE: Apply this medication as soon as possible after it is prescribed. When treating head lice, apply this medication to the hair and scalp only. First wash hair with your regular shampoo, but do not use conditioner. Thoroughly rinse the shampoo out with water, and towel-dry hair. Shake this medication well before using. Cover your eyes with a towel while applying this medication. Completely cover the hair and scalp with the medicine (especially behind the ears and on the hairline at the neck). Avoid getting permethrin in your nose, ears, mouth, vagina, or eyes. If the medicine gets in any of these areas, flush with plenty of water. Do not use more medication than prescribed. Leave the medication on your hair for 10 minutes or as directed by your doctor, then rinse with warm water. Towel-dry your hair and comb out any tangles. A single permethrin treatment can help prevent lice from coming back for 14 days. If eyebrows or eyelashes are infested, do not apply this medication to those areas without first consulting your doctor.Head lice lay small white eggs (nits) at the base of hair close to the scalp, especially on the hairline at the back of the neck and behind the ears. After treatment with this medication, the infected person should be checked by another person for lice and nits using a magnifying glass and bright light. To remove nits, use the special comb provided, and follow the instructions on the package. After combing, re-check the entire head every day for nits you might have missed. Remove any nits by combing, by hand using a disposable glove, or by cutting them out. If live lice are seen 7 days or more after treatment, a second treatment with permethrin or another drug may be needed.Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
SIDE EFFECTS: Scalp irritation, including itching, swelling, or redness may occur with head lice and temporarily worsen after treatment with permethrin. Mild burning, stinging, tingling, or numbness may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
PRECAUTIONS: Before using permethrin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: skin infections, asthma.Constant or forceful scratching of the skin/scalp may lead to a bacterial skin infection. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop worsening redness or pus.Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using this medication.It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk but is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use.Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
OVERDOSE: This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If swallowing or overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
NOTES: Do not share this medication with other person unless directed to do so by your doctor.One application is usually all that is needed. To avoid giving lice to another person or getting them again, all head wear, scarves, coats, and bed linens should be machine-washed with hot water and dried in a dryer (at high setting) for at least 20 minutes, dry cleaned, sealed in a plastic bag for 2 weeks, or sprayed with a disinfectant that kills lice. Brushes or combs should be soaked in hot water (hotter than 130 degrees F/54 degrees C) for 10 minutes, soaked in alcohol for 1 hour, or thrown away. Furniture and floors should be thoroughly vacuumed.People who are in close contact with the infected person, such as members of the same household, should also be checked for lice and nits. Treatment may be considered to prevent infestation even if live lice are not found on them.
STORAGE: Store at room temperature between 59-77 degrees F (15-25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Related Disease Conditions
STDs in Men
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections transmitted during sexual contact. They may be caused by viruses, bacteria,...
Head lice infection is called pediculosis. Lice are parasites that feed on blood and can be found on the scalp and hair of...
Is Scabies Contagious?
The Sarcoptes scabiei mite causes scabies in humans. Close skin-to-skin contact can transmit scabies. The incubation period for...
Typhus is a disease caused by Rickettsia bacteria. Symptoms and signs include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and...
Leishmaniasis is a disease caused by the bite of an infected sand fly. The most common types of leishmania infection are...
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...
Head Lice vs. Dandruff
Dandruff is a condition that causes dry flakes on the scalp. Lice are parasites. Head lice infestations are very contagious. Both...
Treatment & Diagnosis
Prevention & Wellness
Daily Health News
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter
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.
Top permethrin-topical cream rinse Related Articles
Eye CareMany 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.
Head LiceHead 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.
Head Lice PicturePediculus humanus capitis, parasitic insects found on the heads of people. See a picture of Head Lice and learn more about the health topic.
Head Lice vs DandruffDandruff is a condition that causes dry flakes on the scalp. Lice are parasites. Head lice infestations are very contagious. Both head lice and dandruff have similar signs and symptoms: scalp itching and tiny white material on the hair shafts. Lice treatment involves the application of over-the-counter shampoos that contain permethin or pyrethrin followed by nit and louse removal with a fine-toothed comb. Dandruff treatment incorporates the use of anti-dandruff shampoo.
Is Scabies ContagiousThe Sarcoptes scabiei mite causes scabies in humans. Close skin-to-skin contact can transmit scabies. The incubation period for scabies may be up to eight weeks. People with a scabies infestation will have a very itchy rash with burrows in the skin caused by the itch mite.
LeishmaniasisLeishmaniasis is a disease caused by the bite of an infected sand fly. The most common types of leishmania infection are cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis. Leishmaniasis is found mainly in the subtropics and tropics. Symptoms and signs of cutaneous leishmaniasis include skin sores with a raised edge and central crater, while those with visceral leishmaniasis usually have fever, weight loss, and an enlarged liver and spleen.
STDs in Men Overview
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.
TyphusTyphus 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.