CLINICAL REVIEWS AM J HEALTH-SYST PHARM | VOLUME 75 | NUMBER 13 | JULY 1, 2018 937 Oral ivermectin for the treatment of head lice infestation Wendy L. Sanchezruiz, Pharm.D., School of Pharmacy, Wingate University, Wingate, NC. Donald S. Nuzum, Pharm.D., School of Pharmacy, Wingate University, Wingate, NC. Samir A. Kouzi, Ph.D., School of Pharmacy, Wingate University, Wingate, NC. Address correspondence to Dr. Kouzi ([email protected]). Copyright © 2018, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc. All rights reserved. 1079-2082/18/0701-0937. DOI 10.2146/ajhp170464 Purpose. Published literature describing the use of oral ivermectin for the treatment of head lice infestation is reviewed. Summary. In the United States and globally, head lice infestation, or pe- diculosis capitis, remains a public health issue with both social and medi- cal implications. Treatment with oral or topical medications is typically re- quired for head lice eradication. Resistance to traditional topical therapies for head lice infestation is increasing, creating a need for consideration of additional treatment options. A growing body of data describing the potential role of oral ivermectin for the treatment or prevention of head lice infestation is available. A literature search identified 5 clinical trials that evaluated safety and/or effectiveness outcomes of oral ivermectin use as an alternative to malathion, other topical prescription medications, and traditional, nonprescription remedies; those studies were conducted in various parts of the world (e.g., Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Egypt) and likely involved varying types and degrees of lice resistance. Clinical research findings to date, while not consistently robust, suggest that oral ivermec- tin is comparable or superior in effectiveness to other topical treatment options for head lice infestation while being well tolerated and favorably perceived by patients and caretakers. Conclusion. Oral ivermectin is an option for the treatment of head lice infestation, especially in individuals who have experienced a treatment failure. Published evidence from clinical trials indicates that oral ivermectin is as effective as currently available topical treatments. Keywords: head lice, ivermectin, oral ivermectin, pediculicide, pediculo- sis capitis, Stromectol Am J Health-Syst Pharm. 2018; 75:937-43 P ediculosis capitis, or infestation by head lice, is a common health con- cern across the world. 1,2 In the United States, it is estimated that each year 6–12 million head lice infestations oc- cur in children 3–11 years of age. Such infestations are most likely to occur in preschool and elementary school stu- dents and their household members or caretakers. 3 Females are more likely to contract head lice, possibly due to their typically longer hair and more frequent head-to-head contact with other people.
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- Farhana Ferdous
- Head louse, Pediculosis, Body louse, Louse, Ivermectin