Is Permethrin compatible with breastfeeding? Do we have alternatives for Permethrin?


April 17, 2016 (Very Low Risk)

Topical pyrethroid pesticide that shows activity against louses, mites and scabies.
About 2% of the dose is absorbed through the skin.
Do not apply it on the breast, otherwise, clean it thoroughly before feeding at the breast.

Permethrin is considered the treatment of choice for scabies in nursing mothers.

Permethrin is found in milk samples from women in regions in which it is used massively for agricultural purposes or malaria control. Notwithstanding, limits were found to be below those permitted by the WHO.

WHO List of Essential Medicines 2002 states it is compatible with breastfeeding.


We do not have alternatives for Permethrin since it is relatively safe.

Very Low Risk

Compatible. Not risky for breastfeeding or infant.

Low Risk

Moderately safe. Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended. Read the Comment.

High Risk

Poorly safe. Evaluate carefully. Use a safer alternative. Read the Comment.

Very High Risk

Not recommended. Cessation of breastfeeding or alternative.


  • περμεθρίνη (Greek)
  • بيرميثرين (Arabic)
  • Перметрин (Cyrillic)
  • 扑灭司林 (Chinese)
  • ペルメトリン (Japanese)
  • C21H20Cl2O3 (Molecular formula)


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  3. Corcellas C, Feo ML, Torres JP, Malm O, Ocampo-Duque W, Eljarrat E, Barceló D. Pyrethroids in human breast milk: occurrence and nursing daily intake estimation. Environ Int. 2012Abstract
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  8. Bouwman H, Sereda B, Meinhardt HM. Simultaneous presence of DDT and pyrethroid residues in human breast milk from a malaria endemic area in South Africa. Environ Pollut. 2006Abstract
  9. Porto I. Antiparasitic drugs and lactation: focus on anthelmintics, scabicides, and pediculicides. J Hum Lact. 2003Abstract
  10. [No authors listed] Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines 2002. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2002Abstract
  11. WHO / UNICEF. BREASTFEEDING AND MATERNAL MEDICATION Recommendations for Drugs in the Eleventh WHO Model List of Essential Drugs. Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development (WHO/UNICEF) 2002 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  12. [No authors listed] National guideline for the management of scabies. Clinical Effectiveness Group (Association of Genitourinary Medicine and the Medical Society for the Study of Venereal Diseases). Sex Transm Infect. 1999Abstract