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Permethrin

Permethrin

What is permethrin?

Permethrin is an insecticide in the pyrethroid family. Pyrethroids are synthetic chemicals that act like natural extracts from the chrysanthemum flower. Permethrin is used in a number of ways to control insects. Products containing permethrin may be used in public health mosquito control programs. They may be used on food and feed crops, on ornamental lawns, on livestock and pets, in structures and buildings, and on clothing. Permethrin may also be used in places where food is handled, such as restaurants. Permethrin was first registered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) in 1979, and was re-registered in 2006

Uses

This medication is used to treat scabies, a condition caused by tiny insects called mites that infest and irritate your skin. Permethrin belongs to a class of drugs known as pyrethrins. Permethrin works by paralyzing and killing the mites and their eggs.

How to use Permethrin Cream

This medication is for use on the skin only. Apply this medication as soon as possible after it is prescribed. Apply the medicine from your head to the soles of your feet, including under your nails and in skin folds such as between the toes, as directed. Massage the cream into the skin. Do not use more medication than prescribed. Wash off the cream after 8-14 hours by showering or taking a bath.

Avoid getting the cream into your eyes, nose, mouth, or vagina. If the medication gets in your eyes, flush the eyes with plenty of water. Consult your doctor if irritation persists.

Symptoms of scabies include an intense itching that is usually 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 permethrin kills all the scabies, the dead mites can still make you itch for up to 4 weeks 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 weeks after treatment. Your doctor may need to look for living mites and recommend more treatment

How does permethrin work?

Permethrin can affect insects if they eat it or touch it. Permethrin affects the nervous system in insects, causing muscle spasms, paralysis and death. Permethrin is more toxic to insects than it is to people and dogs. This is because insects can't break it down as quickly as people and dogs. Cats are more sensitive to permethrin than dogs or people because it takes their bodies a long time to break it down.

What happens to permethrin when it enters the body?

Less than 1% of the permethrin put on the skin of people was taken into the body. If permethrin is eaten, most of it is quickly absorbed. The pyrethroids easily pass through the lungs into the body if inhaled, but no specific data on permethrin was found.

Once permethrin is absorbed, it quickly moves throughout the body. The greatest amounts of permethrin have been found 3 to 4 hours after it was eaten. Permethrin leaves the body mainly in the urine, but may also be in the feces. In laboratory tests in rats, half of the permethrin was gone from the animals' bodies within a day.

Is permethrin likely to contribute to the development of cancer?

Permethrin was classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as "not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans" in 1991. This means that IARC could not decide whether or not permethrin can cause cancer. The U.S. EPA decided that permethrin was "likely to be carcinogenic to humans" if it was eaten. This decision was based on the structure of permethrin, what happens to it in the body, laboratory tests that caused tumors in mice and evidence of tumors in rats.

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