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August 1987

Lindane: A Prudent Approach

Author Affiliations

Departments of Dermatology and Pediatrics University of Michigan Medical Center 1910 Taubman Health Care Center Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0314

Arch Dermatol. 1987;123(8):1008-1010. doi:10.1001/archderm.1987.01660320050010

I receive many calls from seriously concerned physicians seeking advice and guidance regarding the use of lindane, particularly in infants, children, and pregnant women. There has been so much negative publicity about the safety of this drug that, unfortunately, I often find physicians' emotions have clouded their knowledge and experience on this subject. That is why I accepted the invitation to write this editorial—to share my thoughts on the subject and, hopefully, provide a prudent approach to a potential problem.

There is no question that lindane is a neurotoxin when used in very large amounts.1,2 Convulsions represent the main symptom. Percutaneous absorption does occur as with most topical agents. When lindane is applied in the form of either a cream for the treatment of scabies3 or as a shampoo for the treatment of head lice,4 very small quantities appear in the blood. With frequent closely spaced