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Generic Name: dapsone (DAP-sone)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.

Dapsone is used for:

Treating leprosy. It may be used in combination with other medications. It is also used to treat dermatitis herpetiformis (extremely itchy groups of skin lesions, usually occurring on the elbows, knees, and scalp). It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Dapsone is a sulfone antibiotic. The precise way it works is unknown.

Do NOT use dapsone if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in dapsone

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using dapsone:

Some medical conditions may interact with dapsone. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have AIDS, liver problems, anemia, heart problems, kidney problems, low levels of an enzyme called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase or methemoglobin reductase, high blood levels of ketones, hemoglobin M, or urination problems

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with dapsone. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Rifampin because it may decrease dapsone's effectiveness
  • Probenecid or trimethoprim because the risk of their side effects may be increased by dapsone

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if dapsone may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use dapsone:

Use dapsone as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take dapsone by mouth on an empty stomach. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
  • If you also take didanosine, do not take it within 2 hours before or after taking dapsone. Check with your doctor if you have questions.
  • To clear up your infection completely, take dapsone for the full course of treatment. Keep taking it even if you feel better in a few days.
  • Dapsone works best if it is taken at the same time each day.
  • If you miss a dose of dapsone, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use dapsone.

Important safety information:

  • Dapsone may cause blurred vision. Use dapsone with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Dapsone may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to dapsone. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
  • Contact your doctor right away if stomach pain or cramps, severe diarrhea, or bloody stools occur. Do not treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor.
  • Be sure to use dapsone for the full course of treatment. If you do not, the medicine may not clear up your infection completely. The bacteria could also become less sensitive to this or other medicines. This could make the infection harder to treat in the future.
  • Dapsone only works against bacteria; it does not treat viral infections (eg, the common cold).
  • Long-term or repeated use of dapsone may cause a second infection. Tell your doctor if signs of a second infection occur. Your medicine may need to be changed to treat this.
  • Lab tests, including complete blood cell counts, may be performed while you use dapsone. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Dapsone should be used with extreme caution in NEWBORNS; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using dapsone while you are pregnant. Dapsone is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking dapsone.

Possible side effects of dapsone:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Blurred vision; feeling of a whirling motion; headache; nausea; ringing in the ears; sleeplessness; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bizarre behavior; bloody stools; changes in skin color; dark urine or pale stools; fever; giant hives; infection (fever, chills); loss of appetite; muscle weakness; numbness, tingling, or burning of your arms, hands, legs, or feet; personality changes; severe diarrhea; severe rash; sore throat; stomach pains/cramps; unusual fatigue; weight loss; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include bluish discoloration of skin; easy excitability; nausea; seizures; vomiting.

Proper storage of dapsone:

Store dapsone at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C), in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep dapsone out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about dapsone, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Dapsone is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take dapsone or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about dapsone. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to dapsone. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using dapsone.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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