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Dapsone topical Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to dapsone topical: topical gel/jelly

Along with its needed effects, dapsone topical may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking dapsone topical:

Incidence not known
  • Bluish-colored lips, fingernails, or palms
  • dark urine
  • difficult breathing
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • fever
  • headache
  • pale skin
  • rapid heart rate
  • sore throat
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

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

More common
  • Dryness, redness, oiliness, or peeling at the application site

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.

Some side effects of dapsone topical may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

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