LINDANE — lindane shampoo, suspension
Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


Lindane Shampoo should only be used in patients who cannot tolerate or have failed first-line treatment with safer medications for the treatment of lice. (See INDICATIONS AND USAGE.)

Neurologic Toxicity

Seizures and deaths have been reported following Lindane Shampoo use with repeat or prolonged application, but also in rare cases following a single application according to directions. Lindane Shampoo should be used with caution in infants, children, the elderly, and individuals with other skin conditions, and those who weigh < 110 lbs (50 kg) as they may be at risk of serious neurotoxicity.


Lindane Shampoo is contraindicated in premature infants and individuals with known uncontrolled seizure disorders.

Proper Use

Instruct patients on proper use of Lindane Shampoo, the amount to apply, how long to leave it on, and avoiding retreatment. Inform patients that itching occurs after the successful killing of lice and is not necessarily an indication for retreatment with Lindane Shampoo. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.)


Lindane Shampoo, USP 1%, is an ectoparasiticide and ovicide effective against Pediculus humanus capitis (head lice), Pthirus pubis (crab lice), and their ova. In addition to the active ingredient, lindane, it contains triethanolamine lauryl sulfate, polysorbate 60, hydrochloric acid, acetone and purified water to form a shampoo base. The pH may be adjusted with 10% hydrochloric acid solution and/or 10% sodium hydroxide solution. Lindane is the gamma isomer of 1,2,3,4,5,6-hexachlorocyclohexane having the following structural formula:


C6 H6 Cl6 M.W. 290.83


Lindane exerts its parasiticidal action by being directly absorbed into the parasites and their ova. Feldmann and Maibach1 reported approximately 10% absorption of a lindane acetone solution applied to the forearm of human subjects and left in place for 24 hours. This vehicle was different from the approved product and the percutaneous penetration of lindane is dependent on the vehicle. Therefore, the clinical significance of these observations is unknown. Dale, et al2 reported a blood level of 290 ng/mL associated with convulsions following the accidental ingestion of a lindane-containing product. Ginsburg3 found a mean peak blood level of 28 ng/mL 6 hours after total body application of Lindane Lotion to scabietic infants and children. The half-life in blood was determined to be 18 hours.

Data available in the literature suggest that lindane has a rapid distribution phase followed by a longer β-elimination phase.1,2,3

There are no clinical dose ranging studies for Lindane Shampoo.


Lindane Shampoo is indicated for the treatment of head lice (infestations of Pediculus humanus capitis), crab lice (infestations of Pthirus pubis), and their ova only in patients who

  1. cannot tolerate other approved therapies, or
  2. have failed treatment with other approved therapies.

Lindane Shampoo should be used in the context of an overall lice management program that includes:

  • Visual inspection to ensure that the patient is currently infested with live lice (empty egg casings or “nits” can remain on hair shaft long after true infestation).
  • Manual removal of nits using a comb designed for this purpose and/or individual removal with tweezers followed by close examination of the hair and scalp.
  • Evaluation and treatment of sexual contacts simultaneously. Sexual contacts should be prescribed Lindane Shampoo only if they either have failed to respond to adequate doses of other approved therapies or are intolerant of other approved therapies.
  • All recently worn clothing, underwear, pajamas, used sheets, pillowcases, and towels should be washed in very hot water or dry-cleaned.

Caregivers applying this product to patients should wear gloves less permeable to Lindane such as nitrile, latex with neoprene or sheer vinyl, and thoroughly clean hands after application. Natural latex gloves should be avoided because they are more permeable to Lindane.

Lindane Shampoo does not prevent infestation or reinfestation and should not be used to ward off a possible infestation.


Lindane Shampoo is contraindicated for premature infants because their skin may be more permeable than that of full term infants and their liver enzymes may not be sufficiently developed to metabolize Lindane.

Lindane Shampoo is also contraindicated for patients with crusted (Norwegian) scabies and other skin conditions (e.g., atopic dermatitis, psoriasis) that may increase systemic absorption of the drug.

Lindane Shampoo is contraindicated for patients with known uncontrolled seizure disorders and for individuals with a known sensitivity to the product or any of its components.


(See boxed WARNINGS.)

Seizures and deaths have been reported following Lindane Shampoo use with repeat or prolonged application, but also in rare cases following a single application according to directions.

There have been cases of adverse events reported for Lindane Shampoo and Lindane Lotion in which a serious outcome (hospitalization, disability or death) has occurred.4 In approximately 20% of these cases, the shampoo and lotion were reported to have been used according to the labeled directions. Of these cases, thirteen deaths were reported, many of which were remote from the time of actual Lindane use. Lindane toxicity, verified by autopsy was the cause of one infant’s death, and was the cause of death reported for an adult in a successful suicide. The direct causes of death for the other cases were attributed to reasons other than lindane. Most of these adverse events occurred with Lindane Lotion.

Infants, children, the elderly, and individuals with other skin conditions and those who weigh < 110 lbs (50 kg) may be at a greater risk of serious neurotoxicity. (See Pediatric Use and Geriatric Use.) Animal studies have shown increased susceptibility to neurologic adverse events in younger animals. Children have a larger body surface area to volume ratio that may result in a proportionately larger systemic exposure.

Careful consideration should be given before prescribing Lindane Shampoo to patients with conditions that may increase the risk of seizure, such as HIV infection, history of head trauma or a prior seizure, CNS tumor, the presence of severe hepatic cirrhosis, excessive use of alcohol, abrupt withdrawal from alcohol or sedatives, as well as concomitant use of medications known to lower seizure threshold. (See PRECAUTIONS: Drug Interactions.)

Patients should be instructed on the proper use of Lindane Shampoo, especially the amount to apply, how long to leave shampoo on, and the need to avoid retreatment. Patients should be informed that itching may occur after the successful killing of lice and repeat treatment may not be necessary.

A Lindane Shampoo Medication Guide must be given to the patient each time Lindane Shampoo is dispensed, as required by law.



Care should be taken to avoid contact with the eyes. If such contact occurs, eyes should be immediately flushed with water. If irritation or sensitization occurs, the patient should be advised to consult a physician.

Information for Patients (and Caregivers)

  • This product can be poisonous if misused.
  • Other important information is found in the Medication Guide, which by law, must be dispensed with Lindane Shampoo.
  • If putting Lindane Shampoo on another person, the person applying shampoo should wear less permeable gloves such as nitrile, latex with neoprene, or sheer vinyl, and thoroughly clean their hands after application. Natural latex should be avoided because it is more permeable to lindane.
  • If the person applying Lindane Shampoo could be pregnant, contact with Lindane Shampoo should be avoided as much as possible.
  • If the patient could be pregnant, other treatments may be preferable.
  • Use Lindane Shampoo for lice only.
  • The use of oil treatments, oil based hair dressings or conditioners immediately before and after applying Lindane Shampoo should be avoided. Oils can make the Lindane Shampoo go through the skin faster and possibly increase the risk of neurotoxicity (e.g., seizures).
  • Information for Use
    • Shake Lindane Shampoo well.
    • Hair should be completely dry prior to application of Lindane Shampoo.
    • Use only enough Lindane Shampoo to lightly coat the hair and scalp.
    • Apply shampoo directly to dry hair without adding water. Work thoroughly into the hair and allow to remain in place for 4 minutes only. Special attention should be given to the fine hairs along the neck and behind the ears.
    • After 4 minutes, add small quantities of water to hair until a good lather forms.
    • Immediately rinse all lather away. Avoid unnecessary contact of lather with other body surfaces.
    • Towel briskly and then remove nits with nit comb or tweezers.
    • There may be some Lindane Shampoo left in the bottle. Close the bottle with the leftover Lindane Shampoo and immediately throw away the bottle in a trash can out of the reach of children.
    • Do not cover the hair with anything that does not breathe, like a shower cap or towel.
    • Do not ingest. Keep away from mouth and eyes. If contact with eyes occurs, immediately flush eyes with water. Do not use if open wounds, cuts or sores are present, unless specifically directed by your physician.
    • Wash all recently worn clothing, underwear and pajamas, hats, and used sheets, pillowcases, and towels in very hot water or dry-clean.
    • Patients may still itch after using Lindane Shampoo. This does not mean the medicine did not work. Lindane Shampoo sometimes makes this itch even worse. Other medications can be used to soothe the itch. Do not use more Lindane Shampoo.
    • If there are any questions or concerns about the condition or use of the Lindane Shampoo, contact your physician.
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