This medication is used to treat a certain type of skin disorder (dermatitis herpetiformis). It is also used with other drugs to treat Hansen's disease. Dapsone belongs to a class of drugs known as sulfones. It works by decreasing swelling (inflammation) and stopping the growth of bacteria.
OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This drug may also be used to treat or prevent a certain lung infection due to HIV (pneumocystis pneumonia), to prevent a certain brain infection due to HIV (toxoplasmosis), and to treat skin conditions in certain immune system disorders (e.g., systemic lupus erythematosus-SLE).
Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually once daily or as directed by your doctor.
Medications for heartburn/reducing stomach acid (e.g., large amounts of antacids, ranitidine, famotidine), or didanosine may prevent full absorption of dapsone into your bloodstream, possibly reducing its effectiveness. Therefore, separate your dose of dapsone from your doses of any of these products by at least 2 hours. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
If you are taking dapsone for a skin disorder, your doctor may start you on a low dose of dapsone and gradually adjust your dose to control your disease. If you are taking this medication to treat Hansen's disease or to prevent infections due to HIV, the drug is usually taken for years or for life.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. In children, the dosage is also based on age and weight.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.
Tell your doctor if your condition worsens.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: unusually fast heartbeat, unusually fast breathing, bluish lips/skin, chest pain, mental/mood changes, muscle weakness, difficulty urinating.
This drug may rarely cause very serious low blood counts (bone marrow suppression) or liver disease. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop signs of an infection (e.g., fever, chills, persistent sore throat), easy bruising/bleeding, unusual tiredness, pale skin, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine, stomach/abdominal pain.
Dapsone can commonly cause a rash that is usually not serious. However, you may not be able to tell it apart from a rare rash that could be a sign of a severe reaction. Therefore, seek immediate medical attention if you develop any rash.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking dapsone, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to similar drugs such as sulfoxone; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
This medication should not be used if you have a certain medical condition. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: severe anemia.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: certain blood disorders (e.g., G6PD deficiency, methemoglobin reductase deficiency), liver disease, severe heart disease, severe lung disease, serious infection, very high blood sugar (diabetic ketosis).
If using this drug to treat Hansen's disease, note that as your immune system helps fight the infection, you may notice skin sores worsening, and numbness/pain/tingling or muscle weakness. This may require special treatment, so tell your doctor immediately if these symptoms occur.
This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: folic acid antagonists (such as pyrimethamine), nitrofurantoin, primaquine.
Although most antibiotics probably do not affect hormonal birth control such as pills, patch, or ring, some antibiotics may decrease their effectiveness. This could cause pregnancy. Examples include rifamycins such as rifampin or rifabutin. Be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist if you should use additional reliable birth control methods while using this antibiotic.
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: seizures, bluish skin (cyanosis), sudden vision changes, sudden loss of vision.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., complete blood counts/platelets, liver function tests) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
Iron, folic acid, and vitamin C might reduce the risk of developing a certain serious side effect (anemia). Ask your doctor for more details.
If you are using dapsone for dermatitis herpetiformis, a gluten-free diet may improve the condition. Consult your doctor for more information.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised November 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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