Head lice treatment: Over the counter vs. prescription

As one of the oldest and most respected head lice treatment center in the Maryland, Washington, and Northern Virginia area, Advice on Lice has always recommended treating head lice infestations with medicine. We believe the head lice shampoo option, either the brand Rid or it’s generic equivalent, is superior to the head lice cream rinse option, Nix or it’s generic equivalent. Over the past few years, new head lice prescription medications have been developed, and we have found some of them to be good options for head lice treatment; although, many doctors, pediatricians and dermatologists, often refuse to prescribe them or are completely unaware of them. These include the following:

Ulesfia       a combination of Benzyl alcohol and mineral oil

Sklice         a topical ointment version of ivermectin

Natroba     a bacterium ingredient called spinosad which has been                        found to be an effective pesticide with little effect on                              humans.

We have seen clients who have experienced all three head lice treatments at various times, and have found they are generally effective; however, as with the over the counter products, we find that lengthening the time the products remain on the head an additional 15-30 minutes improves their effectiveness. The prescription head lice treatment, Ovide, containing the pesticide with ovicidal properties called Malathion, says to apply it and leave it for 8-12 hours. Advice on Lice never approves of this medicine for children, and only support its use in the most extreme of infestations in adults.

Advice on Lice, Inc believes that the over the counter head lice treatments are the best option because they are the most economical, easily available, and effective when used with our instructions.