Malathion for Head Lice and Scabies: Treatment and Safety Considerations
August 2009 | Volume 8 | Issue 8 | Original Article | 715 | Copyright © 2009
Shereene Idriss MD and Jacob Levitt MD
Malathion is an under-recognized and under-utilized therapy for head lice and scabies largely due to misperceptions about its safety profile. Specifically, its pure form as it exists in pharmaceutical preparations is non-toxic to humans in the low doses available. While labeled for ages six and up, recent studies showed no cholinesterase inhibition in head lice patients aged two-to-six treated with malathion. Flammability of malathion in isopropyl alcohol has reportedly resulted in human injury once in over one million prescriptions filled. Recent efficacy studies of malathion in United States (U.S.) head lice demonstrate efficacy rates of 97–98%. In the present era of permethrin and lindane resistance to head lice, malathion is a first-line option. For scabies, it is a reasonable alternative to permethrin 5% cream, especially when treatment of the scalp or hairy areas is desired.
Purchase Original Article
Purchase a single fully formatted PDF of the original manuscript as it was published in the JDD.
Download the original manuscript as it was published in the JDD.
Contact a member of the JDD Sales Team to request a quote or purchase bulk reprints, e-prints or international translation requests.
To get access to JDD's full-text articles and archives, upgrade here.
Save an unformatted copy of this article for on-screen viewing.
Print the full-text of article as it appears on the JDD site.→ proceed | ↑ close