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J Am Acad Dermatol. 1986 Nov;15(5 Pt 1):995-1001.

Permethrin 5% dermal cream: a new treatment for scabies.


Permethrin 5% dermal cream (Burroughs Wellcome Co.) was compared in an investigator-blinded, randomized study against lindane 1% lotion (Kwell) for the treatment of microscopically confirmed scabies. Eleven of twenty-three patients treated with permethrin cream were cured in 2 weeks (48%). Only two patients had scabies 1 month following a single treatment with this product, giving a cure rate of 91%. One of these two patients was considered to have a reinfestation. Only three of twenty-three (13%) patients treated with 1% lindane lotion (Kwell) were free of scabies 2 weeks after a single treatment and fifteen of twenty-three (65%) were cured at 1 month. The unusually high percentage of treatment failures (35%) following lindane therapy may have been related to extensive use of this agent for head lice and scabies in this village during the preceding 5 years. The higher cure rate at 1 month seen with permethrin cream was significant (p less than 0.025). Permethrin 5% dermal cream offers a new, cosmetically elegant alternative to lindane therapy and was effective in a community in which lindane demonstrated an unacceptable level of treatment failures.

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