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Lindane topical

Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.



WARNING: Lindane should only be used after safer medications have failed, or if safer medications caused side effects. Infrequently, lindane has caused seizures (and sometimes death) after prolonged or repeated use. Rare (sometimes fatal) nervous system reactions such as seizures may even occur after correct one-time use of lindane. Lindane should not be used in premature infants or those with poorly-controlled seizure disorders. Lindane should be used with caution in infants, children, the elderly, those with other skin conditions (such as dermatitis or psoriasis), and those who weigh less than 110 pounds (50 kg) as they may be at a higher risk for side effects. Read the patient instruction sheet and Medication Guide before use, and ask your doctor or pharmacist about any information that is unclear to you. Itching may occur either after successful treatment or with treatment failures. Avoid re-applying lindane within a few months after use.


This medication is used to treat head and crab (pubic) lice after safer medications have failed, or if safer medications caused side effects. It works by killing the lice and their eggs (nits).

How To Use

Be sure to learn all the instructions for use from your doctor or pharmacist, and read the instruction sheet and Medication Guide carefully before using this medication. Wash hair with your regular shampoo (without conditioner) and dry your hair well. Wait at least one hour before using the lindane shampoo to lessen the chance of absorbing the lindane through your skin. Shake the medication well before using. Wear disposable gloves (made of nitrile, latex with neoprene, or sheer vinyl) when applying this medication. Do not use natural latex gloves because more lindane can penetrate that type of glove. Do not apply to eyes, mucous membranes (e.g., inside of the nose or mouth) and do not take by mouth. If lindane gets in the eyes, rinse eyes immediately with water and seek immediate medical attention if a burning sensation continues. Apply the medication to dry hair without using water. Work it in well (without lathering) and leave it in hair for exactly four minutes (use a timer or clock). After four minutes add a little warm water until shampoo lathers well. Do not use hot water. Rinse off the shampoo immediately after it lathers. Dry hair with a towel and remove nits (eggs) from hair with a nit comb or tweezers. Wash your hands when you are done. Discard gloves and lindane container into the trash, out of the reach of children and pets. All recently worn clothing, underwear, pajamas, bedsheets, pillows, towels, and stuffed animals should be washed in very hot water or dry-cleaned. Do not use lindane shampoo again without checking with your doctor.

Side Effects

This medication may cause a rash, stinging, burning or redness of skin. Inform your doctor promptly if these symptoms persist or worsen. It may indicate that some of the medication was absorbed through the skin. Tell your doctor immediately if the following unlikely but serious side effects occur: vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, seizures. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. (Also see Warning section.)


This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: a poorly-controlled seizure disorder. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: other skin conditions (e.g., psoriasis, dermatitis), broken/crusted skin, HIV infection, history of serious head injury, history of seizures, brain tumors, severe liver disease (cirrhosis), alcohol abuse, sudden stopping of regular alcohol or sedative use, any allergies. This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy; use caution engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery. Limit alcoholic beverages. Elderly persons may be at a higher risk for side effects from this medication (See Warning section). Infants and children may be at a higher risk for side effects from this medication (See Warning section). This medication should only be used when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Do not apply lindane shampoo to others if you are pregnant, unless it is absolutely necessary and you have discussed it with your doctor. Use gloves as directed (see How To Use section). This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. For 24 hours after using lindane shampoo, pump your breast milk and discard it. This will lessen the chance of exposing your baby to the medication and possible side effects.

Drug Interactions

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription products you may use. Do not use other creams, lotions, ointments or oils immediately before or after applying lindane shampoo. Oil-based products may increase the absorption of lindane, increasing the risk of side effects. Also report the use of drugs which might increase seizure risk (decrease seizure threshold) when combined with lindane such as phenothiazines (e.g., thioridazine), tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline), isoniazid (INH), and theophylline among others. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for details. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.


If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. Symptoms of overdose may include nausea, vomiting, restlessness, unsteadiness, seizures, irregular heartbeat, and bloody urine.


Because lice are easily transferred from one person to another, all family members and close contacts (especially if you have crab/pubic hair lice) should be examined. Soak all possibly infested combs, brushes, and other hair care items in water heated to 130 degrees F (54 degrees C) for 5 to 10 minutes. Do not share this medication with others. This medication is used to treat a current infestation only. It cannot be used to prevent future infestations.

Missed Dose

Not applicable.


Store at room temperature, 59 to 86 degrees F, (15 to 30 degrees C). Do not store in the bathroom. Do not freeze. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.