Can you use Program (lufenuron) to treat ringworm?


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Our question this week was:

My cats have ringworm. My vet recommended that I treat them with Program® but the box does not suggest that it works for ringworm.

Christine S., New York City.


Hi – thanks for your email. Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin (not caused by a worm). It is spread from person to person, from animal to person, or indirectly from contaminated objects. Ringworm infects three sites: scalp, body and nails.

Treatment may be topical or systemic (drug therapy) and should also include environmental cleaning. An article that might be helpful to you is Ringworm (Dermatophytosis) in Cats.

As far as your question about the use of "Program®" – also called lufenuron some veterinarians believe it works well. However, most recommend that it should not be used as a sole therapy. Test results suggesting its effectiveness are controversial and it has not been proven as an effective sole therapy.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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About The Author

debra-primovic Dr. Debra Primovic

Debra A. Primovic, BSN, DVM, Editor-in-Chief, is a graduate of the Ohio State University School of Nursing and the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Following her veterinary medical training, Dr. Primovic practiced in general small animal practices as well as veterinary emergency practices. She was staff veterinarian at the Animal Emergency Clinic of St. Louis, Missouri, one of the busiest emergency/critical care practices in the United States as well as MedVet Columbus, winner of the AAHA Hospital of the year in 2014. She also spends time in general practice at the Granville Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Primovic divides her time among veterinary emergency and general practice, editing, writing, and updating articles for, and editing and indexing for veterinary publications. She loves both dogs and cats but has had extraordinary cats in her life, all of which have died over the past couple years. Special cats in her life were Kali, Sammy, Pepper and Beanie.