Name: Acticin

What is the most important information I should know about Acticin (permethrin topical)?

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using Acticin (permethrin topical)?

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to permethrin or to chrysanthemums.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use this medicine if you have other medical conditions.

Permethrin topical is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.

It is not known whether permethrin topical passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

Permethrin topical should not be used on a child younger than 2 months old.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since permethrin topical is usually needed only once, you are not likely to be on a dosing schedule. Wait at least 7 days before using a second application.

Uses of Acticin

  • It is used to treat scabies.
  • It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Acticin?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take Acticin. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Do not use on a child younger than 2 months of age without first checking with the doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this medicine while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

Clinical pharmacology

Permethrin, a pyrethroid, is active against a broad range of pests including lice, ticks, fleas, mites, and other arthropods. It acts on the nerve cell membrane to disrupt the sodium channel current by which the polarization of the membrane is regulated. Delayed repolarization and paralysis of the pests are the consequences of this disturbance.

Permethrin is rapidly metabolized by ester hydrolysis to inactive metabolites which are excreted primarily in the urine. Although the amount of permethrin absorbed after a single application of the 5% cream has not been determined precisely, data from studies with 14C-labeled permethrin and absorption studies of the cream applied to patients with moderate to severe scabies indicate it is 2% or less of the amount applied.

Acticin Overview

Acticin is a brand name medication included in a group of medications called Pyrethrines, incl. synthetic compounds. For more information about Acticin see its generic Permethrin




< 2 months of age (OTC)


May exacerbates itching, swelling, and redness temporarily

For external use only

Avoid contact with eyes

May cause difficulty breathing or asthmatic attack in patients with ragweed allergies


For external use only. Avoid contact with the eyes and mucous membranes. If contact occurs, wash the area thoroughly with water.

Usually 30 grams of permethrin cream is sufficient for an average adult.

Scabies rarely infest the scalp of adults, although the hairline, neck, temple, and forehead may be infested in geriatric patients and infants.

One application is generally curative. A second treatment of permethrin lotion may be given for patients that present with live lice 7 days after the initial treatment.

Patients may experience persistent pruritus after treatment for scabies. Demonstrable living mites after 14 days indicate retreatment is necessary.

Safety and efficacy in children under the age of 2 months have not been established.


Data not available