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Oral treatment could help eliminate resistant headlice

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A controlled study has identified that oralivermectin, an antiparasitic medicine, is more effective than malathion lotion for the management of difficult-to-treat headlice.

In the study 812 patients were randomly assigned to receive either oral ivermectin or topical malathion lotion. All the patients had head lice infestation despite topical treatment in the previous two to six weeks.

The results showed that more of the patients who received ivermectin were lice-free after 15 days compared with those receiving malathion and this difference was statistically significant.

The authors of this paper suggest that use of ivermectin should be specifically restricted to patients with difficult-to-treat headlice.

Ivermectin is not licensed for use in the UK.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • i think this may be a good idea its about time there was something different for head lice my kids had it when they were at school a few years back and they could not get rid of em despite lotion after lotion lyclear and such products and they had not or little effct i think i certainly would give this ago god forbid the occasion ever rose its head again. its not nice for anyone to have headlice but id givethe new treatment a thumbs up to trying it.

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  • Is it a prescription only med? My 6 yr old daughter has had headlice for nearly 18 mths despite spending @ £100 altogether on various treatments and several hours of fine combing.

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