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Permethrin (PER) plus trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (TMP/SMX) was better than PER but not TMP/SMX for head lice infestation in children

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 QUESTION: Is a combination of topical permethrin (PER) and oral trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (TMP/SMX) better than either PER or TMP/SMX alone for treating head lice infestation (HLI)?


Randomised (unclear allocation concealment*), blinded (unclear),* controlled trial with 4 weeks follow up.


3 private paediatric and family practices in San Joaquin County, California, USA.


115 children who were 2–13 years of age (70% girls) and were diagnosed with HLI (clinical suspicion of lice or eggs). Children with hypersensitivity to TMP/SMX or 1% PER or with a history of parental non-compliance or neglect were excluded from the study. 97% of children completed follow up.


In all treatment groups, parents were instructed to first wash their child's hair with regular shampoo and then rinse. 39 children were allocated to 1% PER, for which parents were …

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  • Source of funding: not stated.

  • For correspondence: Dr R B Hipolito, University of California at Davis, School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Section of Neonatology, TB 193, Davis, CA 95616, USA. rbhipo{at}

  • A modified version of this abstract also appears in Evidence-Based Nursing.

  • * See glossary.

  • p Values calculated from data in article.