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Lindane Shampoo

This medicine kills the parasites and their eggs, but it does not prevent infestations

Generic Name: lindane topical  |  Brand Name: Lindane

Brand Names: Lindane

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.

  • Use only in patients who have not responded to or cannot tolerate other recommended therapies.

    CNS Toxicity
  • Seizures and deaths have been reported following repeated or prolonged topical application; however, rare cases reported after a single application. (See CNS Effects under Cautions.)
  • Increased risk of serious neurotoxicity in infants, children, geriatric patients, patients weighing <50 kg, and patients with certain other skin conditions.

  • Contraindicated in premature neonates and patients with uncontrollable seizure disorders.

    Proper Use
  • Instruct patients or their caregivers on the proper use of shampoo or lotion, including the amount to apply, how soon to wash the drug off, and the importance of avoiding repeated application.
  • Inform patients that pruritus may persist after successful treatment and is not an indication for further treatment.

What is this medicine?

LINDANE (LIN dane) shampoo is a treatment for lice infestation of hair, including hair in the pubic area (crabs). This medicine kills the parasites and their eggs, but it does not prevent infestations. This medicine is a poison if it is not used properly. Ask your doctor, health care professional or pharmacist to explain any information you do not understand.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • brain or spinal tumor
  • burns, wounds or other damaged skin
  • eczema or atopic dermatitis
  • frequently drink alcoholic beverages
  • head trauma
  • HIV infection
  • liver disease
  • psoriasis
  • seizures
  • skin rash
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to lindane, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for external use only. It is poisonous if taken by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Make sure you know how to properly use the shampoo. Do not get this medicine in your eyes. If you do, rinse out with plenty of cool tap water. Seek medical help if the eyes are hurting. Do not use more medicine than prescribed.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply as this medicine is applied as a single dose. Do not repeat the treatment.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • chloroquine, pyrimethamine
  • cyclosporine, mycophenolate mofetil, tacrolimus capsules
  • isoniazid
  • medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
  • medicines to treat alzheimer's disease or myasthenia gravis
  • meperidine
  • methocarbamol
  • radiopaque contrast agents
  • some antibiotics like penicillins, imipenem and quinolones such as ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, gatifloxacin
  • theophylline

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Let your doctor or health care professional know if you still see lice after 7 days of the initial application. Do not use this medicine more than 1 time to treat lice. Using more than directed may increase your risk of experiencing serious side effects including seizures. If you or a family member experience a seizure, get emergency help right away.

Do not use this medicine on damaged skin. It can penetrate through skin that is burned, cut, scraped, or covered in a rash, and cause serious side effects.

If you are applying this medicine to another person, wear plastic or disposable gloves to protect yourself from lice infestation and exposure to the medicine.

All recently worn clothing, underwear, pajamas, used sheets, pillowcases, and towels should be washed in very hot water or dry-cleaned. Close personal contact can spread the infestation. Family members and sexual contacts may require treatment for lice.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • dizziness
  • heart palpitations
  • nausea, vomiting
  • restlessness, nervousness, irritability
  • seizures
  • skin rash or itching that was not there before treatment
  • unusual sleepiness

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • dry skin or scalp
  • itching (this can continue for 1 or more weeks after use)


Last Updated: June 22, 2009
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