Permethrin

Medication Information Leaflet

What is this medication for?

This medication is used for treatment of lice and scabies infestation. Permethrin kills the lice and mites.

How should I take/use this medication?

This medication should be applied on your skin or scalp only. For external use only.

For scabies infestation

  • Clean your body and dry well, then apply this medication to the skin surface of the whole body from the neck down.

  • For children below 2 years old, apply this medication on the scalp, face, neck and ears carefully. Avoid applying on the area around the eyes and mouth.

  • Ensure that the medication is also applied on the navel, between the toes and fingers, wrists, armpit area, genital area, buttocks, and any other body creases and folds.

  • Leave some of the medication under the finger and toe nails.

  • After the lotion on the body is dried, put on fresh clothing.

  • Do not bathe or wash the medication away for 8- 14 hours. Reapply if the medication is washed off from the hands or other body parts.

  • After 8- 14 hours of application, use soap and water to wash off the medication.

For head lice infestation

  • Wash your hair with conditioner-free shampoo, rinse with water and towel dry. Then apply this medication on your hair and scalp until they are thoroughly wet, including the back of your ears, head and neck.
  • Leave it on the hair for at least 10 minutes.

  • Wash your hands immediately after the application process.

  • Use warm water to rinse off the medication 10 minutes after application.

  • Rinse and comb wet hair with a fine-tooth nit comb to remove dead lice and eggs.

  • Repeat this medication 7 days later if you still see lice alive after using this medication.

What precautions should I take?

  • Do not apply on broken skin.

  • If this medication accidentally gets into your eye, rinse with water thoroughly. If irritation of the eyes persists, see a doctor immediately.

  • To avoid reinfestation and spreading of lice to other people:

    • Head-to-head contact during play and other activities should be avoided.

    • Do not share combs, brushes, towels and clothing.

    • Combs and brushes should be soaked in hot water for 5-10 minutes.

    • Wash all bedsheets, pillowcases, recently worn clothing (in the past 2 days before treatment) in hot water and dry under direct sunlight or in a hot cycle dryer. Items that cannot be washed should be sealed in plastic bags for 2 weeks.

    • Vacuum the floor and furniture, especially the area where the infested person sat or lay.

  • To avoid reinfestation and spreading of mites to other people:

    • Avoid direct skin-to-skin contact with an infested person or with items used by an infested person.

    • Wash all bedsheets, pillowcases, recently worn clothing (in the past 3 days before treatment) in hot water and dry under direct sunlight or in a hot cycle dryer. Items that cannot be washed should be sealed in plastic bags for at least 3 days to 1 week.

  • Inform your healthcare professional if:

    • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication.

    • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.

What are some common side-effects of this medication?

If any of the following effects persist or are severe, consult your doctor:

  • Redness, itch, rash, stinging of the skin

  • Numbness, tingling sensation of skin

What are some rare but serious side-effects that I need to seek medical advice immediately?

  • Infected or pus filled areas of the scalp or skin

  • Symptoms of a drug allergy:

    • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue

    • Difficulty in breathing

    • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

What food or medication should I avoid when I take this medication?

Inform your healthcare professional if you are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies.

How should I store this medication?

Store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep this medication away from children.

How should I throw away this medication safely?

Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin.


Disclaimers

If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

Last updated on Apr 2021

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Permethrin

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