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An ectoparasiticide is an antiparasitic drug used in the treatment of ectoparasitic infestations.[1] These drugs are used to kill the parasites that live on the body surface. Permethrin, sulfur, lindane, dicophane, benzyl benzoate, ivermectin and crotamiton are well known ectoparasiticides.[2]


Drugs used to kill parasites(lice and mites) that live on body surface.



broad spectrum and potent pyrethroid insecticide  and is most convenient for both scabies and lice . first choice drug.100% cure rate.


Second choice drug. Effective scabicide,pediculocide and antipruritic. Cure rate 60-88%.


2nd line drug for scabies and is seldom used for pediculosis. Cure rate 76-100%


Effective in treating headlice(67-92%cure) and scabies(84-92%cure) by single treatment


Oldest scabicide and weak pediculocide,antiseptic,fungicide and keratolytic.


Antihelminthic drug found highly effective in scabies and pediculosis. it is the only orally administered drug used for ectoparasitosis


Popular insecticide for mosquito,flies and other pest.


Permethrin-causes neurological paralysis in insect probably by delaying depolarosation.

Lindane-penetrate through chitinous covers and affecting nervous system.

SULFUR-applied to skin it is slowly reduced to H2S and oxidized to SO2 and pentathionic acid which dissolve the cuticle of itchmite and kill it

DICOPHANE- penetrates through the exoskeleton and acts as a neurotoxin.

IVERMECTIN- acts through special type of glutamate gated Cl ion channel found only in  invertebrates.


  Treatment of scabies and pediculosis


  1. ^ Taylor MA (May 2001). "Recent developments in ectoparasiticides". Vet. J. 161 (3): 253–68. doi:10.1053/tvjl.2000.0549. PMID 11352483.
  2. ^ Tripathi, J.D (2010). Textbook of Pharmacology. Jeypee Publications. pp. 862–863. ISBN 978-81-8448-085-6.