What is malathion and how is it used in the treatment of pediculosis and pthiriasis (lice infestation)?

Updated: Aug 16, 2019
  • Author: Lyn C C Guenther, MD, FRCPC, FAAD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Malathion is an organophosphate that has proven to be more ovicidal than permethrin and has a higher lethal effect and decreased frequency of re-infestation, if used properly. It is approved for use in individuals aged 6 years or older. Malathion 0.5% lotion (Ovide) is flammable and should not be used in the presence of hot hair care products or near individuals who are smoking. If lice are still present at 7-9 days, a second treatment should be given.

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