How To Use Suleo M For Pediculosis and Scabies

Suleo M is a medication used in the treatment of pediculosis and scabies. It contains malathion 0.5% liquid and is licensed for children, aged 6 months and above, and adults. Suleo M and generic brands are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and it is safe and effective when used as directed.

Pediculosis is an infestation of the hairy parts of the body or clothing with the eggs, larvae, or adults of lice. The crawling stages of this insect feed on human blood, which can result in severe itching. Human scabies is a parasitic infestation caused by Sarcoptes scabiei var hominis. The microscopic mite burrows into the skin and lays eggs, eventually triggering a host immune response that leads to intense itching and rash. Both infections are effectively treated using Suleo M.

How does Suleo M work?

Suleo M kills mites and head-and-body louse by preventing their nervous system from working properly. When healthy nerves send signals to each other, a special chemical messenger travels from one nerve to another to continue the message. The nerve signal stops when an enzyme is released into the space between the nerves. Malathion in Suleo M binds to the enzyme and prevents the nerve signal from stopping. This causes the nerves to signal each other without stopping. The constant nerve signals make it so the insects can’t move or breathe normally and they die.

How to Use Suleo M

Read the package label carefully and Follow the directions on the package or prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand.

To use Suleo M for the treatment of pediculosis and scabies follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Carefully apply the Suleo M lotion to dry hair until the scalp and hair are wet and thoroughly coated, especially behind the ears and on the back of the head and neck.

Step 2: The manufacturer recommends leaving the medication on the hair, uncovered, for 8–12 hours. Allow the hair to dry naturally; do not use an electrical heat source, including a hair dryer or curling iron while the hair is wet. Have the person being treated put on clean clothing once the medication has been applied. Consider treating just before bedtime. Cover any pillow(s) with a towel to keep the medication from staining the pillow.

Step 3: After 8–12 hours, thoroughly shampoo the hair; rinse and use a fine-toothed nit comb, usually included in the package, to remove dead lice and nits from the hair.

Step 4: After treatment, use a fine-toothed nit comb to check the hair for live lice every 2–3 days for 2–3 weeks until sure that all lice are gone.

Step 5: If live lice are found 7 to 9 days after treatment, retreat with a second application of the same medication.

To prevent the spreading of lice, avoid head-to-head contact with others until your lice infection has cleared up. Avoid sharing hair brushes, combs, hair accessories, hats, scarves, and pillows. Lice infections are highly contagious.

Suleo M side effects

Common side effects of Suleo M include:

  • Chemical burns, including second-degree burns
  • Contact hypersensitivity reaction
  • Dry hair
  • Pink eye (accidental contact with eyes) (mild)
  • Skin and scalp irritation
  • Stinging sensation
  • Temporary increase in dandruff

This document does not contain all possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.

Why was Suleo M withdrawn from the market?

Humans can be affected the same way as insects if they are exposed to enough malathion. About the same amount of malathion will be taken into the body whether you breathe it in or you swallow it. Malathion is also readily taken into the body through skin, though the amount absorbed will depend on where the exposure occurs on the body. Suleo M can become more toxic if it has been sitting for a long time, especially in a hot place.

Researchers fed malathion to rats for up to two years and to mice for a year and a half. They found no evidence of increased cancer in the treated animals. Other studies using higher doses of malathion in rats and mice found that they developed liver cancer. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) has determined that there is “suggestive evidence of carcinogenicity but not sufficient to assess human carcinogenic potential by all routes of exposure,” for malathion.

Despite these concerns, Suleo M and other generic brands are still available in the market. However, it remains one of the most under-recognized and under-utilized therapy for head lice and scabies largely due to misperceptions about its safety profile.


  1. Suleo M may cause stinging, especially if the scalp has open sores from scratching.
  2. Keep this medication away from your eyes, ears, and nose.
  3. Keep your hair wet and away from heat sources such as hair dryers, electric curlers, cigarettes, or open flames because Suleo M is flammable.
  4. Suleo M is not contraindicated in pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, pregnant and nursing mothers should use Suleo M only after consulting their physician.
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