1 Dapsone (Oral Route): A Summary

Dapsone is a sulfone that belongs to a class of medicines called antibacterials. It works by inhibiting folic acid production in some types of bacteria, which stunts bacterial growth.

This medication can be given alone with together with our antibacterials. Dapsone is primarily used to treat leprosy and manage dermatitis herpetiformis.

It is also used in the treatment of actinomycotic mycetoma, granuloma annulare, malaria prevention, pemphigoid, pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, pyoderma gangrenosum, subcorneal pustular dermatosis, relapsing polychondritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus.

Dapsone is only available with a doctor’s prescription and it is sold as a tablet.

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2 What to Know Before Using

You and your physician need to discuss the pros and cons of using dapsone before starting treatment.

You also need to tell your doctor certain information so that he/she can figure out if this medication is a good match for you. Tell your physician if you’ve had hypersensitivity reactions to dapsone or any of its components.

You should also inform him/her if you have allergies to food, dyes, preservatives, animals, or other medications. Dapsone is expected to have the same effects on pediatric patients as in other age groups.

The effects of dapsone in elderly clients, however, have not adequately studied. Dapsone has a pregnancy category of C. This means that there hasn’t been enough research regarding its effects on pregnant women and the unborn child.

However, doctors will usually give folic acid supplements to pregnant patients or those planning to get pregnant. Dapsone can be passed in breast milk and can result to anemia in the nursing infant.

Although there isn’t enough research regarding this, you should consider the risks and benefits if you are currently breastfeeding. Dapsone also interacts with other medications.

Using warfarin and zidovudine simultaneously with dapsone is normally not recommended but can be necessary. Concomitant use of amprenavir, atazanavir, fosamprenavir, rifapentine, rifabutin and saquinavir can increase the risk of side effects.

Inform your physician if you suffer from any of the following conditions: severe anemia, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency, and methemoglobin reductase deficiency.

Dapsone can increase your risk of developing severe blood disorders. It can also occasionally cause liver damage especially if you have any underlying liver disease.

3 Proper Usage

The timing and dosage of dapsone will depend on your medical condition. So it’s really important that you follow your physician’s instructions.

Patients taking dapsone for pneumocystis carinii pneumonia should finish the whole duration of treatment. For missed doses, take them as soon as you remember.

However, skip it if the next one is close. Consult your physician if your condition doesn’t improve in a week. The same goes for patients suffering from leprosy.

The full course of dapsone should be finished, and it should be taken at the same time of the day. Patients with dermatitis herpetiformis may have to follow a gluten-free diet during and after dapsone treatment.

In leprosy treatment, the dosage for adults is usually 50-100 mg once daily. Children’s dose depends on the body weight.

In the treatment of dermatitis herpetiformis, the adult dose usually starts at 50 mg once daily and may be increased up to 300 mg once daily depending on your condition.

A child’s dose will depend on the body weight. Take a missed dose as soon as you remember unless it’s almost time for the next one. Never double dose.

Store your tablets in a sealed container and away from children.

4 Precautions to Take

Go to your follow-up appointments religiously. It is important that your treating physician monitors your progress regularly.

Check with your doctor immediately if your condition worsens or does not improve in 2 to 3 months.

For those with dermatitis herpetiformis, consult your doctor if you do not see signs of improvement within a few days after initializing treatment.

5 Potential Side Effects

Dapsone can cause a variety of side effects. Check with your physician immediately if you start having rash and fever, which could be signs of dapsone syndrome.

For leprosy treatment, dapsone can also cause eye or nerve damage if the condition is not monitored closely. Talk to your doctor right away if your condition does not improve.

It also has effects on the different systems in the body. Dapsone can cause anemia and ulcers on your mouth or skin. Side effects can also affect the skin.

Symptoms include rash, sensitivity to sunlight, fever, or malaise. Dapsone can also cause difficulty sleeping, nerve damage, headaches, loss of appetite, inflammation of the liver, increased heart rate, and liver damage.

You may not experience the above-mentioned side effects. However, if you experience symptoms that are not listed, get in touch with your doctor right away.

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