Clinical Practice Update: Pediculosis Capitis
Brittany Bohl, Jessica Evetts, Kymberli McClain, Amanda Rosenauer, and Emily Stellitano
A review of the current evidence on primary treatment modalities of head lice demonstrates increasing resistance to current regimens. New and alternative therapies are now available. A treatment algorithm was created to address safety and efficacy of treatments, as well as to guide clinicians through navigation of the regimens. Through an online journal search, 59 articles were selected for the review. Literature searches were performed through PubMed, Medline, Ebsco Host, and CINAHL, with key search words of "Pediculosis capitis" and "head lice" in the title, abstract, and index. Meta-analyses and controlled clinical trials were viewed with greater weight if they had a large sample size, were statistically significant, and did not allude to bias. When resistant infestations are well-documented in a locality, changes to the treatment regimen are indicated, and alternative treatments should be considered. Recent studies and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals have changed the available treatment options for Pediculosis capitis, including benzyl alcohol, topical ivermectin, spinosad, and the LouseBusterô. Further, environmental management and prevention measures should be taken to avoid reinfestation and to prevent the spread of head lice. Continued study is recommended to establish long-term safety of new and alternative agents.