Permethrin - topical/cutaneous

Patient Medicine Information
Why do I need this medicine?
Permethrin is used to treat scabies, head lice and pubic lice and their eggs.

This medicine may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
How do I use this medicine?
Apply Permethrin exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not use more than once or over a larger area than instructed by your doctor.

Your doctor will also discuss the use of this medicine as different brands or preparations of Permethrin may only be used for a specific condition.

Do not use this medicine for any condition other than what is prescribed by your doctor.

Permethrin is available as a cream, lotion, or cream rinse.

Different formulations of this medicine may be available in certain countries. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how to properly use your medicine.

If you are using the cream or lotion to treat scabies, follow these steps:
  1. Clean, dry and cool your body prior to application. If you have taken a warm or hot bath, let your skin cool down first before you apply this medicine.
  2. Shake the bottle of the lotion well before use.
  3. Apply a thin layer of cream or lotion on the whole body including the neck, palms of the hands, and down to the toes and soles of feet. Rub gently and carefully when applying on skin folds such as between the fingers and toes, under the fingernails or toenails, and folds of the wrist or waist. Do not cover, wrap, or bandage the areas applied with this medicine.
  4. Replace the cap of the tube or bottle and immediately dispose the container according to your doctor’s instructions.
  5. Leave the cream or lotion on your skin for about 8-14 hours, then wash off thoroughly by showering or bathing.
If you are using the cream to treat pubic lice, follow these steps:
  1. Clean and dry your body before application.
  2. Apply a sufficient amount of the cream to cover the pubic region, around the anus, inner thighs down the knees and any hair that grows up from the pubic area to the tummy or chest.
  3. Wash your hands after using and replace the cap of the tube.
  4. Leave the cream on your skin for about 12-24 hours.
  5. Wash off or rinse the treated area(s) thoroughly to remove the cream.
If you are using the cream rinse or lotion to treat head lice infestation, follow these steps:
  1. Wash hair using a regular shampoo (without conditioner) and towel dry your hair prior to application.
  2. Shake the bottle well before use.
  3. While the hair is still slightly damp, apply this medicine directly to the hair and scalp. Rub gently and thoroughly to cover the scalp and hair including the areas behind the ears and back of the neck.
  4. Leave the cream rinse or lotion on your hair for 10 minutes, then rinse well.
  5. Remove nits using a fine-toothed comb as necessary and dry hair immediately after treatment.
Avoid contact of this medicine with your eyes and mouth. Rinse immediately with water if it gets into your eyes or mouth. Alert your doctor if you start to have any problems with your eyes.

If you are applying Permethrin on another person, you may wear gloves to protect yourself from the infestation and your hands from skin irritation.
When should I not use this medicine?
Do not use Permethrin if you ever had an allergic reaction (e.g. rashes, breathlessness, swollen eyes) to this medicine or any of its ingredients.
What should I take note of while using this medicine?
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving this medicine to a child or the elderly. Children or elderly people may be more sensitive to the side effects.

Do not apply on broken or infected skin.

If you are being treated for scabies, you may still experience itching of skin even after successful treatment. This does not mean that the medicine did not work.

How can I prevent lice or mite infestation at home?
  1. Avoid direct skin-to-skin or hair-to-hair contact with an infested person.
  2. Avoid contact with the infested person’s belongings e.g. combs, hair accessories, hats, towels, clothing, bedding.
  3. Clean and vacuum the room of an infested person, and machine-wash and dry-clean all his/her clothing and bedding.
  4. If you are a close contact of the infested person, seek treatment immediately.
What side effects could I experience?
Permethrin may cause any of the following side effects: burning, numbness, stinging, or tingling sensation on the application site, skin redness or itching, and dry skin.

If you develop rashes, breathlessness, swollen mouth or eyes, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor immediately. These could be signs of an allergic reaction.

Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Can I use this with other medicines?
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are using creams, ointments, or other skin products on the affected area(s).

Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are using or taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
How should I store this medicine?
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.

If you are using the lotion, protect it from light.

Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
This information is independently developed by MIMS based on permethrin - topical/cutaneous and is provided for your reference only. It is not a replacement for and should only be used in conjunction with full consultation with a licensed healthcare professional, the information provided by your pharmacist and/or the manufacturer of the medication. It may not contain all the available information you require and cannot substitute professional medical care, nor does it take into account all individual circumstances. Although great effort has been made to ensure content accuracy, we shall not be held responsible or liable for any claims or damages arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein, its contents or omissions, or otherwise. Copyright © 2024 MIMS. All rights reserved. Powered by
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