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Where is Dapsone used?

Dapsone is used to treat a certain type of skin disorder called dermatitis herpetiformis. This may also be used with other medications to treat leprosy. In treating leprosy, this is used along with other medications for at least 6 months. In some cases, the medication may need to be taken for many more months or years.

This belongs to the class of medications known as sulfones. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved this treatment.

How does Dapsone work?

As an antibacterial, this medication prevents the bacterial synthesis of dihydrofolic acid. It is through competition with para-aminobenzoate for the active site of disydropteroate synthase. Though structurally distinct from Dapsone, the sulphonamide group of antibacterial drugs also work in this way.

You may have to take it every day for as long as 3 years or more or life. If you stop taking this medicine too soon, your symptoms may return. This medication works best when there is a continuous amount in the blood.

How is Dapsone taken?

The recommended dosage for Dapsone depends on your condition and response.

This is usually taken once a day. You may take it with or without food by mouth with a full glass of water.

If you are taking this medicine for a skin disorder, your doctor may start you on a low dose and slowly adjust your dosage to control your disease. If you are taking this medicine to prevent infections due to HIV or to treat Hansen’s disease, the medication is usually taken for years or life.

Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit of it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day. Do not double the given dosage to avoid some complications. Let your doctor know right away if your condition worsens.

What are the possible side effects of Dapsone?

Common side effects:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Insomnia
  • Increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight

Let your doctor know if these happen:

  • Unusually fast breathing or heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Bluish lips or skin
  • Mood/mental changes
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty urinating

What are the precautions in taking Dapsone?

  • Before using this medication, inform your doctor if you have any allergies, medical history, or current treatments and medications including herbal supplements or vitamins.
  • This is only used in pregnant women when needed. If you are breastfeeding women, consult your doctor first.  
  • Do not share this with others who have the same symptoms as yours.
  • Plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunscreen, and sunglasses. This medicine may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver disease or anemia.
  • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to this drug, phenylhydrazine, sulfa drugs, niridazole, naphthalene, primaquine, nitrofurantoin, or any other medications.
  • Keep this away from the reach of children. Keep this also away from the heat and moisture.