Objective: To compare the effectiveness of the Bug Buster kit with a single treatment of over the counter pediculicides for eliminating head lice.
Design: Single blind, multicentre, randomised, comparative clinical study.
Setting: Four counties in England and one county in Scotland.
Participants: 133 young people aged 2-15 years with head louse infestation: 56 were allocated to the Bug Buster kit and 70 to pediculicide treatment.
Interventions: Home use of proprietary pediculicides (organophosphate or pyrethroid) or the Bug Buster kit.
Main outcome measure: Presence of head lice 2-4 days after end of treatment: day 5 for the pediculicides and day 15 for the Bug Buster kit.
Results: The cure rate using the Bug Buster kit was significantly greater than that for the pediculicides (57% v 13%; relative risk 4.4, 95% confidence interval 2.3 to 8.5). Number needed to treat for the Bug Buster kit compared with the pediculicides was 2.26.
Conclusion: The Bug Buster kit was the most effective over the counter treatment for head louse infestation in the community when compared with pediculicides.