The Prescriber's Letter published by the
Therapeutic Research Center and distributed to physicians
and pharmacists, is one of the most widely read and
respected health newsletters. In the March 1997 issue,
the Prescriber's Letter had this to say about head lice:
You'll see some unusual treatments for head
lice... especially for persistent cases.
parents complain about treatment failures with Nix® and other products.
Researchers are starting to suspect resistance.
Some physicians are resorting to new
therapies... but this is causing LOTS of
For example, some recommend leaving Nix® on for 4 to 8 HOURS
... instead of 10 minutes. Sometimes even
overnight under a shower cap. Or they prescribe Elimite® cream for head lice ... and leave it on
overnight too. Elimite® is five times stronger
than Nix® ... but increasing the strength may
not overcome resistance. Some even want to try
the ORAL drug ivermectin (Stromectol®). This new
drug is approved for certain parasitic infections
... it isn't approved for head lice.
One reason physicians are using these longer
and stronger treatments is the recent coverage in
The Medical Letter (a newsletter to physicians).
But many experts OPPOSE these treatments.
Academic dermatologists and the National
Inc. say there's not enough support in the
literature for these high-powered treatments. And
there are too many unanswered questions.
Stick with the TRADITIONAL approach. Make sure
patients know how to apply lice products
correctly. Advise them NOT to use a shampoo with
conditioners BEFORE using Nix®.
The conditioner coats the hair and may protect
Tell people to DILIGENTLY remove nits ... wash
clothing ... vacuum carpets and furniture, etc.
There's also controversy over new
recommendations about using Nix®
to PREVENT lice. The FDA says it's okay ... when
over 20% of the people at an institution are
infested ... or for immediate household members.
This is only in the professional labeling. The
manufacturer can't put this on the package for
consumers. Try to limit treatment only to people
who are infested.