Drug Information

Enter drug name  

Search by first letter

Brand Name
Common Name
isopropyl myristate
How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Isopropyl myristate is used to treat head lice. It kills lice by causing them to lose water and become dehydrated. After two applications, this medication should get rid of your lice infestation.

This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are using this medication, speak to your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use this medication if their doctor or pharmacist has not recommended it.

How should I use this medication?

When applying this medication, you should use a towel to protect your eyes and to prevent your clothes from getting wet. Apply the product to dry hair and massage it into the hair until the scalp is thoroughly wet with the product. Make sure that you fully cover the hair at the sides of the head and at the back of the neck. Also make sure that the entire scalp and hair (from roots to ends) are fully covered with the product.

After applying, keep the product on for 10 minutes. Then rinse with warm water and, if you wish, wash your hair. If desired, you can remove nits and lice with a fine tooth comb after rinsing.

Carefully inspect all family members daily between treatments and for at least 2 weeks after treatment.

You should repeat the application again in 7 days to make sure that any newly hatched lice are killed.

The following are approximate dosages for one application for adults and children over 4 years old:

  • short hair: 30 mL to 60 mL
  • shoulder length hair: 60 mL to 90 mL
  • long hair: 90 mL to 120 mL

Since lice infestations are spread through contact, you should make sure that your family members and sexual partner(s) are examined for lice infestation. If they are infested, they should speak to their doctor or pharmacist immediately about using this product. Also notify your child's school, daycare, or other people who have been in close contact.

To prevent reinfestation, contaminated items such as bedding, clothing, towels, and hats should be washed in hot water and dried in the dryer using the hot cycle for at least 20 minutes. If items cannot be washed and dried this way, dry-clean them or seal them in a plastic bag for 2 weeks and wash normally. Combs and brushes should be soaked in hot water above 54°C or in undiluted product for 5 to 10 minutes and rinsed with hot water. Mattresses that have been used by an infested person should not be used for 48 hours.

Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor or pharmacist has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important that this medication be used exactly as prescribed by your doctor or pharmacist.

Store this medication at room temperature and away from direct sunlight. Keep it out of the reach of children and any open flame. Do not smoke when using this product.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Each bottle of solution contains isopropyl myristate 50% w/w. Nonmedicinal ingredient: cyclomethicone.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not use this product if you are allergic to isopropyl myristate or any of the ingredients of the medication.

What side effects are possible with this medication?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is used in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent. The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who uses this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

Stop using this medication and contact your doctor if you experience any of the following side effects:

  • skin infection (e.g., skin redness, swelling, or discharge)
  • skin irritation (e.g., burning, redness, swelling, or itching)
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

General: Using this product can make hard surfaces such as floors and baths slippery. Take precautions to avoid slips and falls.

External use only: This product is for external use only. To avoid getting the medication in the eyes, keep your eyes closed and covered until all the product is rinsed out. If the shampoo gets into your eyes, immediately flush them with water. If you swallow this medication, get medical help or call a poison control centre.

Eyelashes and eyebrows: You should stop using this medication and contact your doctor or pharmacist if you develop lice infestation of your eyelashes or eyebrows.

Staining: This product may stain fabric. Protect clothing and upholstery with a towel.

Treatment effectiveness: If your lice infestation does not go away or comes back after a second application, discuss this with your doctor or pharmacist.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications that you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. In many cases, interactions are intended or are managed by close monitoring. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Top      Back to Drug List