Can you use Program (lufenuron) to treat ringworm?

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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