Generic name: dapsone
Dosage form: oral tablet (100 mg; 25 mg)
Drug class: Leprostatics
Medically reviewed by A Ras MD.
What is dapsone?
Dapsone is a prescription medicine that is used to treat pimples (acne).
Before taking dapsone, tell your doctor:
- If you are allergic to dapsone; any part of this medicine; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If you have methemoglobinemia.
- If you are taking any of these drugs: Oral dapsone or drugs to treat malaria.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with dapsone.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take dapsone with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take dapsone?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take dapsone. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Be careful if you have G6PD deficiency. Anemia may happen.
- Use of other skin products while using dapsone may cause more irritation.
- Using benzoyl peroxide at the same time may cause the skin or facial hair to turn yellow or orange for a short time.
- Talk with your doctor before you use other drugs or products on your skin.
- A blood problem called methemoglobinemia has happened with dapsone. People with this problem have had to go to the hospital.
- Nerve problems like loss of muscle control and muscle weakness have happened with oral dapsone. Skin reactions like toxic epidermal necrolysis have also happened with oral dapsone. These side effects have not been seen with this form of dapsone. Talk with the doctor.
- This medicine may cause harm if swallowed. If dapsone is swallowed, call a doctor or poison control center right away.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the baby.
How is dapsone best taken?
Use dapsone as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Do not take dapsone by mouth. Use on your skin only. Keep out of your mouth, nose, and eyes (may burn).
- Wash your hands before and after use.
- Clean affected part before use. Make sure to dry well.
- Put a thin layer on the affected skin and rub in gently.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Put on a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not put on 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
What are the side effects of dapsone that I need to call my doctor about immediately?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of a pancreas problem (pancreatitis) like very bad stomach pain, very bad back pain, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
- Signs of methemoglobinemia like a blue or gray color of the lips, nails, or skin; a heartbeat that does not feel normal; seizures; very bad dizziness or passing out; very bad headache; feeling very sleepy; feeling tired or weak; or shortness of breath. This effect is rare but may be deadly if it happens.
- Signs of hemolytic anemia like dark lips or urine, dizziness or passing out, feeling confused, feeling very tired or weak, pale skin, shortness of breath, or yellow skin or eyes.
- Back pain.
- If you are planning to harm yourself or the want to harm yourself gets worse.
- Very bad sore throat.
- Trouble controlling body movements.
- Stomach pain.
- Very upset stomach or throwing up.
What are some other side effects of dapsone?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Dry skin.
- Oily skin.
- Skin irritation.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If overdose is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out dapsone?
- Store at room temperature. Do not freeze.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
SRC: NLM .