Toggle navigation
Toggle search

Lindane (On the skin)

Lindane (LIN-dane)

Lindane lotion treats scabies. Lindane shampoo treats head lice and pubic lice (crab lice).

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to lindane. This medicine should not be used on premature babies, patients who have seizures (epilepsy), or breastfeeding women. This medicine should not be used to treat crusted scabies.

How to Use This Medicine:

Lotion, Shampoo

  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • Use this medicine only on your skin. Rinse it off right away if it gets on a cut or scrape. Do not get the medicine in your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Lindane should be applied only to skin and hair that is dry. Shake well before using.
  • You should wear gloves if you are applying this medicine to someone else. Wear special gloves made of nitrile, latex with neoprene, or sheer vinyl. Do not use natural latex gloves because too much lindane can go through that kind of glove. If you are using this medicine on a baby or small child, you should cover the baby's hands and feet to prevent sucking and licking of the lotion.
  • To treat scabies: Apply a thin layer of lotion all over your body from the neck down. You should not use on your face or scalp. Leave lotion on for 8 to 12 hours. Wash it off in the bath or shower.
  • To treat pubic lice: Apply a thin layer to the pubic hair, working it down to the skin underneath. Spread to the groin, thighs, and lower stomach if these areas are also affected. Leave the medicine on for 12 hours. Wash it off in the bath or shower.
  • To treat head lice: Apply the shampoo to dry hair (about one ounce for short hair, one and one-half ounce for medium-length hair, and two ounces for long hair). Work thoroughly into your hair and wait 4 minutes. Add small amounts of water until a good lather forms. Do not wear a shower cap or any covering on your head while waiting for 4 minutes to pass. Rinse hair well with warm water and dry with a clean towel. Do not use oil-based products in your hair right after applying the medicine. Use a fine-toothed comb or tweezers to remove any nits (eggs) or nit shells. They look like small white dots.
  • If you have any oil-based products on your hair (ointment, cream, or oil), wash and dry your hair before using lindane.
  • Do not use more than 2 ounces of this medicine for 1 application. You should not use the medicine again unless your doctor tells you to.
  • Do not cover the treated area with a bandage unless directed by your doctor.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze.
  • Ask your pharmacist or doctor how to dispose of the medicine container and any leftover or expired medicine.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not put cosmetics or skin care products on the treated skin. Do not use other hair products on the treated areas.
  • Tell your doctor if you use anything else that makes you sleepy. Some examples are allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, and alcohol.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant, or if you have liver disease, brain tumor, a head injury, or a history of seizures. Tell your doctor if you have HIV or AIDS, if you drink too much alcohol, or if you have had an allergic reaction to preservatives. Tell your doctor if you have used this medicine in the past few months.
  • Use lindane only as directed by your doctor. Do not use more of it, do not use it more often, and do not use it for a longer time than your doctor tells you. This medicine can be harmful if you do not follow the directions exactly.
  • Most people will still have some itching after using this medicine to treat scabies. This is normal. You do not need to apply more of the medicine. It could take several weeks for the itching to go away.
  • All members of your household and your sexual partner or partners may also need this medicine. Talk to your doctor about this.
  • Do not use this medicine to treat a skin problem your doctor has not examined.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Dizziness or drowsiness.
  • Itching, burning, or dry skin.
  • Seizures.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Redness or rash.
  • Skin irritation.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 5/1/2020

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

All rights reserved

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and chrome browser.

We are physicians, hospitals and communities working together to help you live better.