What is the role of oral medications 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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Answer

Oral anthelmintics, including ivermectin, levamisole, and albendazole, [47, 48] have been found to be effective against head louse infestation, but are not approved by the FDA to treat lice. Oral ivermectin has also been successfully used to treat pubic and head lice, but is not FDA approved for these conditions. [13] Administration should be repeated in 7-10 days to kill lice emerging from nits that may have survived the first treatment. Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole was initially reported to be effective; however, controlled studies have shown only minimal efficacy.


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