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This medication is used to treat scabies only after safer medications (such as permethrin or crotamiton) have failed or caused side effects. It works by killing the tiny insects (mites) and their eggs, which cause scabies. An infection with scabies is also called an infestation. This drug should not be used to prevent scabies infestation or re-infestation.
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using lindane. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
This drug can be poisonous if used incorrectly. Do not take this drug by mouth, and avoid contact with your eyes, nose, or mouth. If lindane gets in these areas, rinse with water immediately and seek immediate medical attention if a burning feeling remains. Do not use if there is skin irritation (e.g., open wounds, rash, cuts, or sores) on the area to be treated unless directed to do so by your doctor.
Trim your nails short and clean your skin well with warm (not hot) water before using, but wait at least 1 hour after bathing/showering before use. Wet or warm skin can increase the absorption of lindane into your bloodstream. An average-sized adult requires only 1 ounce (30 milliliters), but larger persons should use no more than 2 ounces (60 milliliters).
Make sure your skin is clean and does not have other lotions, creams, ointments, or oils on it. These products can increase the absorption of lindane through your skin and into your bloodstream, which increases the risk of serious side effects. If you are currently using any of these products, they must be washed off before you apply lindane.
Shake the bottle well before use. Apply a very thin layer of lotion once over your entire body from the neck down to the bottoms of your feet or as directed by your doctor. Use a toothbrush to apply lindane under your nails (scabies mites prefer this area). Do not use this toothbrush in your mouth afterward. Wrap the toothbrush and throw it in the trash with the closed bottle of any unused lindane out of the reach of children and pets.
After application, do not cover your skin with fabric that does not breathe (e.g., disposable/plastic diaper, tight clothes, blankets). Avoid skin-to-skin contact with anyone while lindane is on your body.
Leave the medication on the skin for 8-12 hours. Leaving it on overnight is usually enough. Do not leave it on the skin more than 12 hours. Leaving it on longer will not kill any more scabies mites/eggs, but your risk of serious (possibly fatal) seizures will be increased. Remove lindane lotion by washing very well in a shower or bath, using warm (not hot) water.
If an infant or young child is prescribed lindane, watch the child carefully after applying the lotion to make sure the child does not put their hands/feet into their mouth while the medication is on their skin.
If you are applying lindane on another person, wear disposable gloves (made of nitrile, latex with neoprene, or sheer vinyl) to decrease the risk of contacting this drug and possible side effects. Do not use natural latex gloves because more lindane can penetrate that type of glove. Wash your hand well afterwards.
Symptoms of scabies include an intense itching which is generally worse at bedtime. You may also see small, fine, wavy lines on the skin with a tiny insect at the end (a burrow). Burrows are usually found on finger/toe webs, wrists, elbows, armpits, belt line, lower buttocks, female nipples, or male genitals. Even if lindane kills all the scabies, the dead mites can still make you itch for a long time after treatment. Ask your doctor about other medications that may be used to soothe the itching. Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens 2-3 weeks after treatment.
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