Dapsone is used alone or co-administered with other drugs to treat leprosy and dermatitis herpetiformis (itching lesions on the elbows, knees, and scalp).
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Generic Dapsone information
Dapsone is a generic medication used to treat leprosy and dermatitis herpetiformis. It is an anti-infective medication that can occasionally be used for other purposes. In rare cases, dapsone has been known to cause serious and even fatal skin reactions. It is vital that patients are educated to the severity of the skin reaction before they begin a prescription of dapsone. Dapsone has also bee associated with rare but serious blood conditions and liver conditions. Patients should be instructed to seek immediate emergency medical assistance should they experience sore throat, fever, pale skin, bruising, pinpoint red spots on the skin, or jaundice as this can be a sign of a life threatening condition.
Dapsone should not be prescribed without a thorough medical history. Patients with a medical history which includes liver disease, glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase, or methemoglobin reductase deficiency may require special monitoring while taking dapsone or may not be able to take it at all, depending on the condition and the severity of the condition.
Dapsone was rated a pregnancy risk category C by the American Food and Drug Administration, as it has yet to be determined whether or not dapsone will cause harm or birth defects in an unborn child. It has been determined however, that this medication will pass through a woman’s breast milk and affect an nursing baby. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not be prescribed dapsone.
If a regular dose is missed, the patient should take it as soon as it has been remembered unless it is almost time for the next dose of dapsone, in which case the missed dose should be skipped. Taking medication too closely together or taking a double dose to make up for missed medication can cause an overdose. An overdose of dapsone can lead to serious health consequences and should be handled by the nearest emergency room. Symptoms of an overdose are likely to include blue skin tone, excitability, nausea, vomiting, seizures, and muscle weakness.
There are likely to be side effects when starting dapsone, although some of them could be serious. Patients who experience serious side effects or an allergic reaction when starting dapsone should seek immediate emergency medical attention. Allergic reactions can be life threatening and may include symptoms such as difficulty breathing, hives, and facial swelling. Other serious side effects are likely to include blue skin tone, numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, difficulty breathing, abdominal pain, dark urine, pale stools, and unusual fatigue.
Other side effects aren’t typically quite so dramatic and don’t require emergency medical treatment but should be reported to the prescribing physician. Less serious side effects are more likely to include symptoms such as insomnia, headache, blurry vision, nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, and increased sensitivity to light.
Medications which affect the blood, liver, and skin can interact with dapsone to the point of causing serious medical conditions and reactions. Whenever possible, it is best to prescribe dapsone by itself to avoid the multitude of medications that can cause serious interactions. While this is not always a possibility, it can alleviate problems when it is. Whenever other medications are prescribed in conjunction with dapsone, blood tests to monitor liver and blood functions are required to be sure the body is maintaining an acceptable level of health.