Big three lice treatments

  • One percent permethrin products, including Nix, is considered the least toxic to humans and is left on hair for 10 minutes and rinsed off, according to the Academy of Pediatrics. Parents should reapply in 7 to 10 days if live lice are seen.
  • Ovide is a malathion-based product that has been taken off the market twice. The product, manufactured by Taro Pharma of Hawthorne, NY, is to be washed off after eight to 12 hours. The APA recommends reapplying malathion in seven to nine days if there are still live lice.
  • Kwell is a lindane-based product manufactured by Wockhardt USA. It has been on the market since 1951, and is now considered a second-line treatment for treating head lice and scabies. It has been phased out of agricultural use since 2007. The FDA added a “black box” warning in 2003 that says that lindane can be neurotoxic, even when used correctly and advised that it shouldn’t be used on anybody weighing less than 110 pounds.  Lindane has been banned in California and the AAP no longer recommends it. The FDA also warns on its website: “Patients are at risk for serious neurologic adverse events, and even death, particularly with early retreatment.”