1 What is Ovide?

Brand: Ovide

Generic: Malathion

Ovide is a pediculicides. It is a topical lotion, used to kill head lice. It works by killing lice and their eggs.

It is available in a solution form only with your doctor’s prescription.

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2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Ovide, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it.


Inform your doctor if you are allergic to any food, preservatives, dyes, or had an allergic reaction when you used this drug before.


It does not cause any different side effects from adults. However, safety and efficacy have not been established in children younger than 6 years of age. It is not recommended to be used in children younger than 1 year of age.


This medicine does not cause any different side effects or problem than it does in younger adults.


It is not known if it is safe to use Malathion in pregnancy. You should discuss Malathion’s risks and benefits in pregnancy with your doctor.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies which prove that Malathion passes into breast milk. If you are using Malathion while nursing, discuss it with your doctor for possible risk factors.

Drug Interactions

Malathion may interact with other drugs. Your doctor should be informed of any other medicines which you are taking. He may want to change the dosage or drug.

Other Medical Problem

Several other conditions may reduce its effectiveness such as:

  • Anemia (low level of red blood cells)
  • Asthma
  • Recent brain surgery
  • Epilepsy or other seizure disorder
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Liver disease
  • Malnutrition
  • Stomach ulcers or other digestive tract problem.

3 Proper Usage

Proper usage of Ovide requires strict adherence to your doctor’s orders. Ask your pharmacist if you have any queries.

Apply it on dry hairs to completely wet the hair and scalp. Pay special attention to the hairs on the back of the head. Wash your hands immediately after applying it.

Allow hair to dry it naturally. Do not cover your head after applying it. When 8 to 12 hours are passed after applying, wash the hairs with non-medicated shampoo and rinse it thoroughly.

Comb the hair with a fine-tooth (nit) comb to remove dead lice and eggs. Start at the scalp and comb to the ends.

If lice are still present after 7 to 9 days, use Malathion a second time as directed by your doctor. A second treatment is usually not necessary.

Malathion is flammable. Do not expose Malathion or wet hair to lit cigarettes, open flames, or other heat sources (electric heaters, hair dryers) until your hair is dry. Do not smoke while applying the lotion or while hair is wet.


It is different for different patients. Dosage mentioned below is an average dose. It is best to take each dose at equally spaced times a day and night. You must follow your doctor’s command.

Lotion form

Adults, teenagers, and children above 6 years of age: apply it one time only. Treatment may be repeated after 7 to 9 days if necessary.

Children 1 year to 6 years of age: Dose is determined by your doctor.


Store it at room temperature. Keep it away from children.

4 Precautions to Take

In using Ovide, you must be careful and take some precautions as advised by your doctor. Close your eyes while applying Ovide. Avoid getting Ovide in your eyes, nose, or mouth.

When using Ovide on a child, have the child keep his or her eyes closed while applying. If Malathion comes into contact with the eyes, flush with water immediately. Talk to your doctor if eye irritation continues.

You should dry clean or wash all clothing, bedding, towels, scarves, combs, brushes and hair pieces to prevent it spread to another family member. Other family members should be checked by a doctor and treated if requires

If skin irritation occurs, wash your scalp and hair immediately. Reapply the medicine only if the irritation stops. If irritation occurs again, talk with your health care provider. Go to the doctor immediately if you have burns or stinging sensations

Farmers, gardeners, residents of communities undergoing insecticide or pesticide spraying or dusting, workers in plants manufacturing such products, or other persons exposed to such poisons should protect themselves by wearing a mask over the nose and mouth, changing clothes frequently, and washing hands often while using this medicine.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Ovide. Some people may experience none or minor side effects.

Consult with your doctor if they become problematic or frequent:

More common are:

  • Mild stinging or irritation of the skin and scalp.

Less common are:

  • Burning, dry, or itching eyes
  • Discharge or excessive tearing
  • Redness, pain, or swelling of the eye, eyelid, inner lining of the eyelid.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.