PERMETHRIN (per METH rin) treats scabies, a condition caused by tiny insects that irritate your skin. It works by killing the mites and their eggs.
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
An unusual or allergic reaction to permethrin, veterinary or household insecticides, chrysanthemums, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
This medication is for external use only. Do not take by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. A bath or shower is not recommended before applying this medication. Thoroughly rub the cream into all skin surfaces, from your head to the soles of your feet. It is important to apply it everywhere on your body, not just where the rash is. Apply the cream between fingers and toe creases, in the folds of the wrist and waistline, in the cleft of the buttocks, on the genitals, and in the belly button. Use a toothpick to apply the cream beneath your fingernails and toenails. Nails should be cut short. If you have little or no hair, or you are applying the cream to an infant or young child, make sure you rub the cream into the neck, scalp, hairline, temples, and forehead. Leave it on for 8 to 14 hours, then remove it by bathing and shampooing. If you are applying this medication to another person, wear plastic or disposable gloves to protect yourself from infestation. Do not get this medication in your eyes. If you do, rinse out with plenty of cool tap water.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. While this medication may be prescribed for children as young as 2 months of age for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
What if I miss a dose?
This does not apply.
What may interact with this medication?
Interactions are not expected. Do not use any other skin products on the affected area without telling your care team.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
Burning or pain at application site
Mild skin irritation, redness, or dryness
What should I watch for while using this medication?
It is not unusual for itching and rash to continue for as long as 2 to 4 weeks after treatment. These symptoms may be a temporary reaction to the remains of the mites. This does not mean this cream did not work or that it needs to be reapplied. If you feel that the itching and rash is intense or if it continues beyond 4 weeks, talk to your care team right away.
Scabies is spread by direct skin contact with an infected person. Family members and sexual partners may require treatment with this medication. You should discuss this with your care team.
Using a normal washing cycle, you should wash all clothing, towels, and bed linens that have touched your skin. You do not need to rewash clean clothing that has not yet been worn. Coats, furniture, rugs, floors, and walls do not need to be cleaned in any special manner.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Do not refrigerate. Do not freeze. Get rid of any unused medication after the expiration date.
To get rid of medications that are no longer needed or have expired:
Take the medication to a medication take-back program. Check with your pharmacy or law enforcement to find a location.
If you cannot return the medication, check the label or package insert to see if the medication should be thrown out in the garbage or flushed down the toilet. If you are not sure, ask your care team. If it is safe to put it in the trash, take the medication out of the container. Mix the medication with cat litter, dirt, coffee grounds, or other unwanted substance. Seal the mixture in a bag or container. Put it in the trash.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
This information is educational only and should not be construed as specific instructions for individual patients nor as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about the information and instructions. K Health assumes no liability for any use or reliance on this information.