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Treats lice and scabies.

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Our bottom line

Nix (Permethrin) works great, but make sure to read the directions carefully before using it.

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Quick facts about Nix
  • Drug class: Infection
  • Rx status: Prescription or OTC
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (permethrin)


  • Nix (Permethrin) comes with a kit that contains a metal lice comb, disposable gloves, and a salon cape.
  • A single application is usually sufficient to get rid of head lice.
  • Nix (Permethrin) stays in the hair for 10 days, even after showering with a conditioner-free shampoo.
  • Nix (Permethrin) is designed to leave the hair easy to comb after using.
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  • Can't be used on children under 2 months of age.
  • Can't be used near the eyes, nose, vagina, or on eyebrows or eyelashes.
  • Scalp itching or redness can occur.
  • You can't use it if you're allergic to ragweed since it can cause difficulty breathing or an asthma attack.
  • Can't use conditioner for a week after using Nix (Permethrin).
How it works

Nix (Permethrin) is a topical pediculicide and ovicide treatment that destroys little bugs and their eggs.

Quick facts about Nix
  • Drug class: Infection
  • Rx status: Prescription or OTC
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (permethrin)

Used for

  • Lice
  • Scabies
  • Leishmaniasis prevention

Dosage forms

  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Shampoo
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Prices and coupons

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Side effect rates for Nix (Permethrin)

  • Mild and temporary burning and stinging
  • Pruritus
  • Redness
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Rash
Where we got our data »

The placebo bar shows how common a side effect was for people taking a sugar pill instead of Nix.

Nix (Permethrin)

People taking Nix felt side effect more

People taking Nix felt side effect less

No difference

Risks and Warnings for Nix (Permethrin)

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  • Nix (Permethrin) can cause head itching. This is usually a consequence of the head lice infestation itself, but can be temporarily worsened following treatment with Nix (Permethrin). Other reactions which are less frequent include: stinging/burning, tingling, numbness or discomfort, redness, and swelling or rash of the scalp. All these reactions are mild and temporary.

Common concerns from people taking Nix (Permethrin)

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Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

Tip: Always talk with your doctor before you take any medication while pregnant.
FDA pregnancy category for Nix
BProbably safe