Malathion lotion is used to treat head lice (small insects that attach themselves to the skin) in adults and children 6 years of age and older. It should not be used in infants and children younger than 2 years of age. Malathion is in a class of medications called pediculicides. It works by killing lice.
Malathion comes as a lotion to apply to the scalp and hair. It is usually applied to the scalp and hair in one or sometimes two treatments. If live lice are seen 7 to 9 days after the first treatment then apply a second treatment of malathion lotion. Follow the directions on your prescription label or the package label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use malathion lotion exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient. Read these instructions carefully.
Malathion lotion should only be used on the hair and scalp. If you experience skin irritation, wash scalp and hair right away. If the irritation gets better, you can apply malathion lotion again. If you experience skin irritation again, call your doctor.
Avoid getting malathion lotion in your eyes. If malathion lotion gets in your eyes, flush them with water right away. If your eyes are still irritated after flushing with water, call your doctor or get medical help right away.
To use the lotion, follow these steps:
After using malathion lotion, sanitize all the clothing, underwear, pajamas, hats, sheets, pillowcases, and towels you have used recently. These items should be washed in very hot water or dry-cleaned. You should also wash combs, brushes, hairs clips and other personal care items in hot water.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before using malathion lotion,
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Malathion lotion may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Malathion lotion may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( Web Site) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website ( Web Site) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. Web Site
If someone swallows malathion lotion, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else use your malathion lotion. Your prescription for malathion lotion is probably not refillable. If you feel you need additional treatment, call your doctor.
Lice are generally spread by close head-to-head contact or from items which come in contact with your head. Do not share combs, brushes, towels, pillows, hats, scarves, or hair accessories. Be sure to check everyone in your immediate family for head lice if another family member is being treated for lice.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.