This medication is used to treat head lice, tiny insects that infest and irritate your scalp. Malathion belongs to a class of drugs known as organophosphates. It works by paralyzing and killing lice and their eggs (nits).
How to use malathion topical
Learn all preparation and usage instructions in the product package. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
This medication is for use on hair and scalp only. Do not swallow. Be careful to avoid getting malathion in your nose, ears, mouth, vagina, or eyes. Protect eyes during application by keeping them tightly closed and covered with a cloth or towel. If the medication accidentally comes in contact with your eyes, flush them with water to reduce irritation. If irritation continues or you experience vision changes, talk to your doctor.
Apply this medication onto dry hair and scalp. Use enough medication to make the hair and scalp wet, especially the back of the head and neck. Allow the hair to air-dry, uncovered. Wash hands after applying this medication. Leave malathion on the hair and scalp for 8-12 hours. Then shampoo and rinse well, especially the back of the head and neck.
Run a fine-toothed comb (nit comb) through your wet hair to remove the dead lice and lice eggs. The infected person should be checked by another person for lice and nits. Please see the instructions in the product package for more details about nit removal. Consult your doctor if lice are still present after 7-9 days. Repeat treatment with this or other medication may be necessary.
This medication may cause a slight stinging feeling on the scalp. This is normal. However, if skin irritation occurs, wash the scalp and hair immediately, allow the irritation to clear, and try using the medication again. If the irritation returns, consult your doctor.
This medication contains an ingredient that could easily catch fire (flammable). Avoid smoking, being around open flames (e.g., fireplaces, stoves, campfires), or electric heat sources such as heaters, hair dryers, and curlers/hair irons while using malathion.
Do not use malathion on newborns or infants.