Generic Name: Permethrin Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Uses

What is Permethrin used for?

Permethrin is used to treat scabies, a condition caused by tiny insects called mites that infest and irritate your skin. Permethrin belongs to a class of drugs known as pyrethrins. Permethrin works by paralyzing and killing the mites and their eggs.

How should I take Permethrin?

This medication is for use on the skin only. Apply this medication as soon as possible after it is prescribed. Apply the medicine from your head to the soles of your feet, including under your nails and in skin folds such as between the toes, as directed. Massage the cream into the skin. Do not use more medication than prescribed. Wash off the cream after 8-14 hours by showering or taking a bath.

Avoid getting the cream into your eyes, nose, mouth, or vagina. If the medication gets in your eyes, flush the eyes with plenty of water. Consult your doctor if irritation persists.

Symptoms of scabies include an intense itching that is usually worse at bedtime. You may also see small, fine, wavy lines on the skin with a tiny insect at the end (a burrow). Burrows are usually found on finger/toe webs, wrists, elbows, armpits, belt line, lower buttocks, female nipples, or male genitals. Even if permethrin kills all the scabies, the dead mites can still make you itch for up to 4 weeks after treatment. Ask your doctor about other medications that may be used to soothe the itching. Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens 2 weeks after treatment. Your doctor may need to look for living mites and recommend more treatment.

How do I store Permethrin?

Permethrin is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Permethrin in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Permethrin that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Permethrin down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Permethrin?

Before using permethrin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: skin infections, asthma.

Constant or forceful scratching of the skin/scalp may lead to a bacterial skin infection. Tell your doctor right away if you develop worsening redness or pus.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using this medication.

It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk but is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this Permethrin during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Permethrin. Permethrin is pregnancy risk category B according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Permethrin?

Skin irritation, including itching, swelling, and redness, may occur with scabies and temporarily worsen after treatment with permethrin. Mild burning or stinging may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Permethrin?

Permethrin may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with Permethrin?

Permethrin may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Permethrin?

Permethrin may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this Permethrin.

What is the dose of Permethrin for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Scabies

Permethrin topical 5% cream:

Thoroughly massage into the skin from the neck to the soles of the feet. The cream should be removed by washing (shower or bath) after 8 to 14 hours.

Usual Adult Dose for Lice

Permethrin topical 1% kit:

Apply lotion/creme rinse to shampooed and towel-dried hair until hair and scalp are saturated (especially behind the ears and on the nape of the neck). Leave on hair for 10 minutes and rinse with water. Use comb and/or gloves provided to remove remaining nits.

Permethrin topical 1% solution:

Apply to shampooed and towel-dried hair until hair and scalp are saturated (especially behind the ears and on the nape of the neck). Leave on hair for 10 minutes and rinse with water.

Precautions

For external use only. Avoid contact with the eyes and mucous membranes. If contact occurs, wash the area thoroughly with water.

Usually 30 grams of permethrin cream is sufficient for an average adult.

Scabies rarely infest the scalp of adults, although the hairline, neck, temple, and forehead may be infested in geriatric patients and infants.

One application is generally curative. A second treatment of permethrin lotion may be given for patients that present with live lice 7 days after the initial treatment.

Patients may experience persistent pruritus after treatment for scabies. Demonstrable living mites after 14 days indicate retreatment is necessary.

Other Comments

Concomitant treatment of individuals in the household is recommended to avoid reinfestation. Thorough cleaning of all clothing and bedding is required once treatment has begun.

For proper head lice management, nits should be removed with a nit comb.

What is the dose of Permethrin for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Scabies

Permethrin topical 5% cream

Infants: Thoroughly massage along the hairline, neck, temple, and forehead. The cream should be removed by washing after 8 to 14 hours.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Lice

Permethrin topical 1% kit:

2 months or older: Apply lotion/creme rinse to shampooed and towel-dried hair until hair and scalp are saturated (especially behind the ears and on the nape of the neck). Leave on hair for 10 minutes and rinse with water. Use comb and/or gloves provided to remove remaining nits.

Precautions

Safety and efficacy in children under the age of 2 months have not been established.

How is Permethrin available?

Permethrin is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Topical cream,
  • Topical lotion,
  • Topical spray,
  • Topical kit.

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Permethrin, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

 

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: April 11, 2018 | Last Modified: April 11, 2018

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