Over the last few decades parents have had increasing difficulty getting rid of lice infestations in their children’s hair. The parasites have developed resistance to many of the chemicals that have long been used to eradicate them. This has led to substantial frustration on the part of parents and school administrators, since repeated treatments are not successful.
Now a new prescription called Sklice offers another alternative. This topical medication contains the active ingredient ivermectin, which has been used against hard-to-treat parasites. Two placebo-controlled trials published in The New England Journal of Medicine show that 95 percent of the children were free of lice two days after treatment with topical ivermectin. After two weeks, about ¾ of them were still lice free.
An editorial in the same issue of the Journal points out that lice will eventually develop resistance to ivermectin and advises that it be reserved for last resort treatment. Parents who need other approaches to try first will find several at PeoplesPharmacy.com, ranging from Listerine or Cetaphil to Vaseline.