Why is this medication prescribed?
Ivermectin lotion is used to treat head lice (small bugs that attach themselves to the skin) in adults and children 6 months of age and older. Ivermectin is in a class of medications called anthelmintics. It works by killing lice.
How should this medicine be used?
Ivermectin comes as a lotion to apply to the scalp and hair. It is usually applied to the scalp and hair in one treatment. Ivermectin is available without a prescription (over the counter). Follow the directions on the package and product insert carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use ivermectin lotion exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it again unless told to do so by your doctor or pharmacist.
Ivermectin lotion should only be used on the hair and scalp. Do not apply to the eyelashes or eyebrows; contact your doctor if these areas are affected. Avoid getting ivermectin lotion in your eyes, nose, ear, mouth, or vagina.
If ivermectin lotion gets in your eyes, flush them with water right away.
To use the lotion, follow these steps:
- Children 12 years of age and younger will need an adult to help apply the lotion.
- Use the top of the cap to break the seal on the tube of lotion.
- Apply ivermectin lotion to dry hair and dry scalp area starting at the scalp and then working outwards towards the ends of your hair. Be sure to use enough lotion to cover the entire scalp area and hair, then rub thoroughly. Use up to one entire tube.
- Keep eyes tightly closed and protect eyes with a washcloth or towel.
- Leave the lotion on your hair and scalp for 10 minutes after you have completely covered your hair and scalp with ivermectin lotion.
- After 10 minutes have passed, rinse your hair and scalp only with water and dry and style your hair as usual. Wait 24 hours before applying shampoo.
- You and anyone who helped you apply the lotion should wash your hands carefully after the application and rinsing steps.
- Use a fine-tooth comb or lice comb to remove the dead lice and nits (empty egg shells) after this treatment.
- Discard any unused portion of the tube once you finish this treatment. Do not use ivermectin lotion again without talking to your doctor.
After using ivermectin lotion, sanitize all the clothing, underwear, pajamas, hats, sheets, pillowcases, and towels you have used recently. Machine wash clothing at high temperatures (150°F) and tumble in a hot dryer for 20 minutes. You should also wash combs, brushes, hairs clips and other personal care items in hot water.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using ivermectin lotion,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to ivermectin, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in ivermectin lotion. Check the package label for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any skin conditions or sensitivities or any other medical conditions.
- tell your doctor if you are or possibly could be pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. Avoid getting the lotion on your breasts if you are breast-feeding.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Ivermectin lotion may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- red, swollen, itchy, irritated, or teary eyes
- dry skin
- burning feeling on the skin
Ivermectin lotion may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Do not freeze ivermectin lotion.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
In case of emergency/overdose
If someone swallows ivermectin lotion, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
- swollen skin
- difficulty breathing
- stomach pain
- problems with coordination
- swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- pain, burning, or tingling in the hands or feet
What other information should I know?
Lice are generally spread by close head-to-head contact or from items which come in contact with your head. Do not share combs, brushes, towels, pillows, hats, scarves, hair accessories, or helmets. Be sure to check everyone in your immediate family for head lice if another family member is being treated for lice.
Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about ivermectin.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.