A highly efficacious pediculicide based on dimeticone: randomized observer blinded comparative trial

Heukelbach, Jorg, Pilger, Daniel, Oliveira, Fabiola A., Khakban, Adak, Ariza, Liana, and Feldmeier, Hermann (2008) A highly efficacious pediculicide based on dimeticone: randomized observer blinded comparative trial. BMC Infectious Diseases, 8. - .

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Background: Infestation with the human head louse (Pediculus humanus capitis) occurs worldwide. Existing treatment options are limited, and reports of resistance to commonly used pediculicides have been increasing. In this trial we assessed the efficacy of a product containing a high (92%) concentration of the silicone oil dimeticone (identical in composition to NYDA®), as compared to a 1% permethrin lotion.

Methods: Randomized, controlled, observer blinded clinical trial. Participants were recruited from a poor urban neighbourhood in Brazil where pediculosis capitis was highly prevalent. To minimize reinfestation during the trial, participants (145 children aged 5–15 years with head lice infestations) were transferred to a holiday resort outside the endemic area for a period of 9 days. Two applications of dimeticone or 1% permethrin were done, seven days apart. Outcome measures were defined as cure (absence of vital head lice) after first application and before and after second applications, degree of itching, cosmetic acceptability, and clinical pathology.

Results: Overall cure rates were: day 2 – dimeticone 94.5% (95% CI: 86.6% – 98.5%) and permethrin 66.7% (95% CI: 54.6% – 77.3%; p < 0.0001); day 7 – dimeticone 64.4% (95% CI: 53.3% – 75.3%) and permethrin 59.7% (95% CI: 47.5% – 71.1%; p = 0.5); day 9 – dimeticone 97.2% (95% CI: 90.3% – 99.7%) and permethrin 67.6% (95% CI: 55.4%-78.2%); p < 0.0001). Itching was reduced similarly in both groups. Cosmetic acceptability was significantly better in the dimeticone group as compared to the permethrin group (p = 0.01). Two mild product-related incidents occurred in the dimeticone group.

Conclusion: The dimeticone product is a safe and highly efficacious pediculicide. Due to its physical mode of action (interruption of the lice's oxygen supply of the central nervous system), development of resistance is unlikely.

Trial registration: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN15117709.

Item ID: 6033
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1471-2334
Keywords: head lice; pediculosis; therapy; dimeticone; Pediculus humanis capitis
Additional Information:

Article Number: 115. Page numbers on the PDF are not for citation purposes. © 2008 Heukelbach et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2010 05:34
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1115 Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences > 111502 Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics @ 80%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1108 Medical Microbiology > 110803 Medical Parasitology @ 20%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920109 Infectious Diseases @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920117 Skin and Related Disorders @ 50%
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