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Aczone Side Effects

Generic Name: dapsone topical

Note: This page contains information about the side effects of dapsone topical. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name Aczone.

For the Consumer

Applies to dapsone topical: topical gel/jelly

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by dapsone topical (the active ingredient contained in Aczone). In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

Severity: Moderate

If any of the following side effects occur while taking dapsone topical, check with your doctor or nurse as soon as possible:

Incidence not known:
  • Attempts at killing oneself
  • bloating
  • body aches or pain
  • chills
  • congestion
  • constipation
  • cough
  • darkened urine
  • dryness or soreness of throat
  • fast heartbeat
  • fever
  • hoarseness
  • indigestion
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • pains in stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
  • runny nose
  • stomach pain
  • tender, swollen glands in neck
  • tonic and clonic muscle movements
  • trouble swallowing
  • voice changes
  • vomiting, severe
Reported in clinical trials
  • Discouragement
  • feeling sad or empty
  • feeling that others are watching you or controlling your behavior
  • feeling that others can hear your thoughts
  • feeling, seeing, or hearing things that are not there
  • irritability
  • loss of interest or pleasure
  • severe mood or mental changes
  • tiredness
  • trouble concentrating
  • unusual behavior

Minor Side Effects

Some of the side effects that can occur with dapsone topical may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common:
  • Dryness
  • flushing, redness of skin
  • oiliness/peeling
  • unusually warm skin
Less common:
  • Burning
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty breathing
  • ear congestion
  • headache
  • itching skin
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • headache
  • joint pain
  • joint sprain
  • muscle aches and pains
  • pain or tenderness around eyes and cheekbones
  • shivering
  • shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • sneezing
  • sore throat
  • stuffy nose
  • sweating
  • tightness of chest or wheezing
  • trouble sleeping
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
Incidence not known:
  • Facial swelling

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to dapsone topical: topical gel


The most commonly reported side effects were application site reaction not otherwise specified, application site dryness, application site erythema, and oiliness/peeling.[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Agranulocytosis, hemolytic anemia
Postmarketing reports: Methemoglobinemia[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Toxic epidermal necrolysis, erythema multiforme, morbilliform and scarlatiniform reactions, bullous and exfoliative dermatitis, erythema nodosum, urticaria[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Application site reaction not otherwise specified (18%), application site dryness (16%), application site erythema (13%), oiliness/peeling (up to 13%)
Common (1% to 10%): Application site pruritus[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infection not otherwise specified, sinusitis not otherwise specified, influenza, pharyngitis, cough[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Pyrexia
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Facial swelling[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Joint sprain[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Headache not otherwise specified
Frequency not reported: Tonic clonic movements, peripheral neuropathy (motor loss and muscle weakness)[Ref]


Very rare (less than 0.01%): Depression, psychosis
Frequency not reported: Suicide attempt[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Abdominal pain, severe vomiting, pancreatitis[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Aczone (dapsone topical)." QLT USA, Inc, Fort Collins, CO.

Not all side effects for Aczone may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

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