A Warning About Lindane for Lice

Lindane, a prescription lotion used to treat head lice, can cause vomiting, seizures and confusion if swallowed, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers from the Texas Department of State Health Services reviewed 870 cases of accidental ingestion, and recommended that Lindane never be prescribed for anyone weighing less than 110 pounds.

They speculate that some parents mistake Lindane for an oral medicine because pharmacies often dispense it in bottles similar to those used for liquid oral medications. Other approved treatments, such as permethrin, pyrethrin and malathion, should be tried first, experts recommend. If Lindane is used, they say, treatment should not be repeated.

Related reading: New Treatment ‘Shrink-Wraps’ Head Lice

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