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  • Head Lice Experience

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    Old 03-15-2007, 12:00 PM   #1
    janaw
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    Join Date: Mar 2007
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    Head Lice Experience

    We have had such an ordeal with head lice! I feel obligated to share our experience using pesticides to treat head lice.

    It began when I discovered head lice on our 7 year old son. We began treating right away with over the counter kits. RID was the first one we used. We did the follow up treatment 7 days later and thought we had it taken care of. Before we knew it lice had spread to the rest of the family. We tried more OTC treatments - NIX, Pronto Plus, more RID. It all failed. After about a month of struggling we turned to our Pediatrician for help who gave us a prescription for Ovide, which is a 5% Malathion lotion. I desperately wanted a solution to this problem and I have to admit it would have taken a lot to make me not use this product. After all, everything I had read about it stated how effective it was and how safe. Both of those claims turned out to be totally false in our case.

    After picking up the Ovide from the pharmacy I read and reread the package insert. I knew this was strong stuff and wanted to follow the directions carefully. I proceeded with caution applying it first to my husband, then to my two children and finally, to myself. Shortly thereafter I began to have a headache and slight stomach upset. I also experienced a slightly bloody nose. I did not know I was in danger at this point. As instructed, we all went to bed with the malathion on our hair. I awoke a few times with an upset stomach which was getting worse. I still did not know I was in danger. When I began trembling I woke my husband who helped me immediately wash the poison off. I then began having vomitting and diarrhea. The trembling turned into muscle spasms/twitches. My husband called poison control who advised us the malathion would work its way out of my system in 24 hours and to drink lots of water and gatorade. We did that through the night. The next day I began having very big and uncontrolled flailing arms and legs, chest pain, shortness of breath, tight throat (it looked like a seizure). My husband called 911 and I was rushed to the emergency room. I was given anti-seizure drugs and Ibuterol to open my lungs. I was diagnosed with acute organic phosphate poisoning (malathion poisoning).

    In addition to becoming toxic, the malathion did not kill the lice! I was very ill and continued to have episodes of muscle spasms, shortness of breath, and chest pain mulitple times a day for several months. I had to have help come in to take care of my children. This was not a minor incident and the reason I am writing about it is to warn you. To this day, I still can not beleive I put that stuff on my children's heads. I am eternally grateful that it was I who got sick and not my children or my husband. Because I applied the malathion to the others I was the most exposed and absorped the greatest amount of poison. Please keep in mind that it did not kill the lice.

    I truly understand the frustration of dealing with head lice. You want it dead and you want it dead NOW! The problem is that there is no way to know ahead of time if you will be sensitive or become toxic from the pesticides.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this. I sincerely hope it helps you make more informed decisions.

    Sincerely,
    Jana

     
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    Old 03-15-2007, 01:34 PM   #2
    CaringMom
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    Join Date: Dec 2006
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    Re: Head Lice Experience

    Thank you, Jana, for the information. Sorry you had to go through all of that, how horrible! I will be sure to pass this on.

     
    Old 03-16-2007, 02:01 PM   #3
    janaw
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    Join Date: Mar 2007
    Location: MT
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    Re: Head Lice Experience

    Thank you very much. If just one tragedy can be avoided, it was worth it.

     
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