Dapsone is used together with other medicines to treat leprosy (bacterial infection that affects the skin, mucous membrane, and nerves).
This medicine may also be used to treat dermatitis herpetiformis (itchy rash with bumps and blisters), and together with other medicines to prevent malaria (a disease characterised by chills, fever and sweating that is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito) and pneumonia (an infection which causes lung inflammation).
Dapsone may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Take Dapsone exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Take it together with food or immediately after a meal. Try to take it at the same time each day.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on the type and severity of your infection.
Take Dapsone at regular intervals. Do not skip any doses. You must complete the entire course of this medicine. If you don't, the infection will not be properly controlled.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Do not take Dapsone if you ever had an allergic reaction (e.g. rashes, breathlessness, swollen eyes) to this medicine.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- severe G6PD deficiency (an inherited blood disorder that affects the red blood cells)
- severe anaemia (low red blood cell count in the body)
- porphyria (an inherited disorder that causes skin or nervous system abnormalities)
as Dapsone may not be suitable for you.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- history of an allergic reaction to sulfonamides (a certain group of medicines) such as sulfamethoxazole
- heart disease
- lung disease
- blood disorders
- liver disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Dapsone to a child. Children may be more sensitive to the side effects.
Your doctor may perform a test to check the levels of your G6PD (an enzyme that helps protect the red blood cells) before starting the treatment to determine if this medicine is suitable for you.
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Routine tests (e.g. liver function, complete blood count) may be done while you are being treated with Dapsone. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
- Regular monitoring for signs of liver damage and allergic reactions may also be needed.
Dapsone may cause any of the following side effects: headache, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, and difficulty sleeping.
This medicine may also make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Apply sunscreen when going outdoors and avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight and UV lamps.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- rashes, breathlessness, swelling of the face, eyes or mouth
- blue or grey colour of the lips, nail beds, or skin
- yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark coloured urine, tiredness, swelling in the legs and ankles
- tingling sensation, numbness, pain or weakness in your hands and feet
- frequent and persistent sore throat or mouth ulcers with fever; unusual bleeding or bruising
- rashes with peeling of the skin or blistering of the lips, mouth or eyes accompanied by fever
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- medicines to treat TB (infection known as tuberculosis) e.g. rifampicin, rifabutin
- medicine for gout (high uric acid level in the blood) e.g. probenecid
- saquinavir (medicine for HIV infection)
- trimethoprim (certain antibiotic)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Dapsone.
This medicine may reduce the effects of oral typhoid vaccine. Do not take the vaccine until at least 3 days after stopping Dapsone therapy.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics, such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children. Protect from light.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.