Permethrin 1% creme rinse for the treatment of Pediculus humanus var capitis infestation

Pediatr Dermatol. 1986 Sep;3(4):344-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1470.1986.tb00538.x.


Permethrin 1% creme rinse (NIX) was tested as a treatment for Pediculus humanus var capitis (head lice) in a placebo-controlled, double-blinded, randomized study. As a positive control, a third arm of the study included nonrandomized, but investigator-blinded, treatment with 1% lindane shampoo (Kwell). At 14 days after treatment, 97% of patients treated with permethrin were free of lice compared to 6% of placebo-treated patients (P less than 0.001) and 43% of the lindane-treated group. Permethrin was 70% ovicidal compared to 14% for placebo (P less than 0.001) and 45% for lindane. No adverse experiences were noted during this study. Permethrin 1% demonstrated high pediculicidal and ovicidal activities, which in combination with its low mammalian toxicity, residual activity, and cosmetic properties, make it an excellent treatment for pediculosis capitis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Hair Preparations / therapeutic use*
  • Hexachlorocyclohexane / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Lice Infestations / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Permethrin
  • Pyrethrins / therapeutic use*
  • Random Allocation
  • Scalp


  • Hair Preparations
  • Pyrethrins
  • Permethrin
  • Hexachlorocyclohexane