Lindane (Page 2 of 4)

Drug Interactions

Oils may enhance absorption of lindane, therefore, patients and caregivers applying the shampoo to others should avoid using oil treatments, or oil-based hair dressings or conditioners immediately before and after applying Lindane Shampoo.

In addition, there are many drugs that may lower the seizure threshold, and Lindane Shampoo should be prescribed with caution in patients taking these medications. Drugs that may lower the seizure threshold include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Antipsychotics
  • Antidepressants
  • Theophylline
  • Cyclosporine, mycophenolate mofetil, tacrolimus capsules
  • Penicillins, imipenem, quinolone antibiotics
  • Chloroquine sulfate, pyrimethamine
  • Isoniazid
  • Meperidine
  • Radiographic contrast agents
  • Centrally active anticholinesterases
  • Methocarbamol

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, and Fertility

Although no studies have been conducted with Lindane Shampoo, numerous long-term feeding studies have been conducted in mice and rats to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of the technical grade of hexachlorocyclohexane as well as the alpha, beta, gamma (lindane) and delta isomers. Both oral and topical applications have been evaluated. Increased incidences of neoplasms were not clearly related to administration of lindane. The results of mutagenicity tests in bacteria do not indicate that lindane is mutagenic. Lindane did not cause sister chromatid exchange in an in vivo assay. The number of spermatids in the testes of rats 2 weeks after oral administration of a single dose of 30 mg/kg body weight (12 times the estimated human exposure for scabies on a body surface area comparison and assuming 50% rat oral bioavailability and 10% human bioavailability) was significantly reduced compared to the control rats.


Pregnancy Category C

All pregnancies have a risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse event regardless of drug exposure. Predictions of fetal risk from drug exposure rely heavily on animal data. However, animal studies may fail to predict effects in humans or may overstate such risks. Even if human data are available, the data may not be sufficient to determine whether there is an increased risk to the fetus, and individual reports of adverse outcomes in pregnancy in association with a drug may not reflect a causal relationship.

Lindane Shampoo should be given to pregnant women only if clearly needed. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of Lindane Shampoo in pregnant women. There are no known maternal or fetal health risks described if lice are not treated, but risk of transmission of the lice to other household members is an additional consideration when deciding whether to use lice treatments. Lindane is lipophilic and may accumulate in the placenta. There has been a single case report of a stillborn infant following multiple maternal exposures during pregnancy to Lindane Lotion. The relationship of the maternal exposures to the fetal outcome is unknown.

Animal data suggest that lindane may increase the likelihood of neurologic developmental abnormalities (see below), based on findings at systemic exposures close to that expected in humans when Lindane Lotion is used to treat scabies. The immature central nervous system (as in the fetus) may have increased susceptibility to the effects of the drug. Systemic exposure resulting from Lindane Shampoo applied to hair covered areas is expected to be lower than that from Lindane Lotion that covers the entire body surface area.


When rats received lindane in the diet from day 6 of gestation through day 10 of lactation, reduced pup survival, decreased pup weight and decreased weight gains during lactation, increased motor activity and decreased motor activity habituation were seen in pups at 5.6 mg/kg (2 times the estimated human exposure) but not at 1.2 mg/kg. An increased number of stillborn pups was seen at 8 mg/kg, and increased pup mortality was seen at 5.6 mg/kg. No gross abnormalities were seen in this study or in a study in which rabbits received up to 20 mg/kg lindane by gavage on gestation day 6–18 (up to 10 times the human exposure on a body surface area comparison and assuming 50% rabbit oral bioavailability and 10% human bioavailability when lindane is applied to the entire body for the treatment of scabies).

Nursing Mothers

Lindane is lipophilic and is present in human breast milk, but exact quantities are not known. There may be a risk of toxicity if lindane is ingested from breast milk, or from skin absorption from mother to baby in the course of breast-feeding if Lindane Shampoo is applied topically to the chest area. Nursing mothers who require treatment with Lindane Shampoo should be advised of the potential risks and be instructed not to use the product on the skin as would be done for treatment of scabies. They should also be counseled to interrupt breast-feeding, with expression and discarding of milk, for at least 24 hours following use.

Pediatric Use

Animal data demonstrated increased risk of adverse events in the young across species. Pediatric patients have a higher surface to volume ratio and may be at risk of greater systemic exposure when Lindane Shampoo is applied. Infants and children may be at an even higher risk due to immaturity of organ systems such as skin and liver. Lindane Shampoo should be used with caution in patients who weigh less than approximately 110 lbs (50 kg) and especially in infants. Lindane Shampoo is indicated only for the treatment of lice; patients with scabies should use Lindane Lotion according to the labeled instructions.

Geriatric Use

There have been no studies of Lindane Shampoo in the elderly. There are four postmarketing reports of deaths in elderly patients treated with Lindane Lotion for the indication of scabies. Two patients died within 24 hours of Lindane Lotion application, and the third patient died 41 days after application of Lindane Lotion, having suffered a seizure on the day of death. A fourth patient died of an unreported cause of death on the same day that Lindane Lotion treatment for scabies was administered.


Central nervous system stimulation ranging from dizziness to seizures, has been reported particularly with use of Lindane Lotion. Although seizures were almost always associated with ingestion or misuse of the product (to include repeat treatment), seizures and deaths have been reported when Lindane Shampoo was used according to directions. Irritant dermatitis from contact with this product has also been reported. (See WARNINGS, PRECAUTIONS, and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.)

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions reflect the additional postmarketing experience of Lindane Shampoo. These events include alopecia, dermatitis, headache, pain, paresthesia, pruritus and urticaria. The relationship of some of these events to lindane therapy is unknown.


Contact the closest Poison Control Center in the event of suspected overdosage with Lindane Shampoo.

If accidental ingestion occurs, prompt gastric lavage should be instituted. However, since oils enhance absorption, saline cathartics for intestinal evacuation should be given rather than oil laxatives. If central nervous system manifestations occur, they may be antagonized by the administration of pentobarbital, phenobarbital, or diazepam.


Most patients will require only 1 ounce of Lindane Shampoo. Based on the length and density of hair, some patients may require 2 ounces of Lindane Shampoo.

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. 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. Do not prescribe more than 2 ounces for larger adults. Do not retreat. (See boxed WARNINGS.)

Patients should be provided specific information on use of product. (See PRECAUTIONS: Information for Patients and Lindane Shampoo Medication Guide.)

A Lindane Shampoo Medication Guide must be given to the patient each time LINDANE Shampoo is dispensed as required by law. The Lindane Shampoo Medication Guide is an important part of the risk management program for the patient.


Lindane Shampoo, USP 1% is supplied in patient-size 2 fl oz (60 mL) bottles.


Store at 20° to 25°C (68° to 77°F) [see USP Controlled Room Temperature].

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