Lice infestation can spell tissue irritation, inflammation, and even infection in worst cases. As such, it is important to manage the lice infestation as fast and efficiently as we possibly can. This is where medications are used. Unfortunately, even experts are calling against their use especially among children. Here’s a look at some conventional lice treatment medications and why you shouldn’t use them.

 

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Ivermectin

This is an FDA-approved medication used in the management of various parasitic infections including head lice, stronglyoidiasis, river blindness, scabies, and lymphatic filariasis. For the management of lice infestation, it is typically given as 0.5% lotion applied onto the hair for about 10 minutes to provide 78% lice kill rate. It is only indicated among individuals who are at least 6 months old. Ivermectin exerts its anti-lice properties by interfering with the muscle and nervous system function of the organism which leads to the enhancement of the organism’s inhibitory neurotransmission. This leads to cellular hyperpolarization, paralysis, and death.

Unfortunately, it is because of this same mechanism of action that you should not use it. Scientists say that it is possible that the GABA-like effects of Ivermectin can only potentiate the depressant effects of gamma amino butyric acid. This can lead to depression of the central nervous system and ataxia. When used by people who are also taking calcium channel blockers, statins, dexamethasone, and benzodiazepines, the effects of Ivermectin can also be further heightened.

Conventional Lice Treatment Medications and Why You Shouldn’t Use Them

Lindane

This is a neurotoxin that is used in the management of lice and scabies infestation because of its ability to interfere with the way GABA functions. This leads to lice paralysis and death. Unfortunately, like Ivermectin, Lindane is also dangerous. In fact, it is banned in more than 50 countries while 33 others have restricted its use. The WHO classified it as moderately hazardous while the FDA has strictly regulated its use as a second line treatment.

Known human effects of Lindane include dizziness, seizures, and convulsions. It has also been implicated in the development of certain cancers. Although death is a rare consequence of Lindane toxicity, it’s a lot better to skip this medication altogether.

Conventional Lice Treatment Medications and Why You Shouldn’t Use Them

Malathion

This insecticide is also used in the management of lice infestation because of its excellent inhibitory effect on the enzyme acetylcholinesterase. This kind of chemical is actually similar to Sarin gas. This results in the abnormal accumulation of acetylcholine in the preganglionic terminal resulting in seizures or convulsions. This also leads to death of the organism. It is shown that Malathion is only effective in 36% of lice infestation cases.

While Malathion has generally low toxicity, its metabolite malaoxon is nevertheless highly toxic. This can lead to mucosal irritation, diarrhea, muscle cramps, excessive sweating, convulsions, seizures, and potentially, death.

Conventional Lice Treatment Medications and Why You Shouldn’t Use Them

These three medications used in any clinic, or should we say insecticides, are approved by no less than the FDA. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are completely safe. They may be effective in managing most lice infestations, but the various side effects are simply too grave to ignore completely. Treating lice infestation should be effective; however, it should also be safe.

 

What are your suggestions for safe but effective lice treatments?

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Conventional Lice Treatment Medications and Why You Shouldn’t Use Them: Lice infestation can spell tissue irritation, inflammation, and even infection. As such, it is important to manage the lice infestation as fast and efficiently as possible. However, experts caution against using several conventional lice treatment on children and here's why you shouldn’t use them. #licetreatment #lice #licemeditaion