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DAPSONE (Topical)

Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.—

  • Aczone

Not commercially available in Canada.


  • Antiacne agent


Dapsone (DAP-sone) belongs to the family of medicines called antibiotics. Topical dapsone preparations are used on the skin to help control acne. They may be used alone or with one or more other medicines that are applied to the skin or taken by mouth for acne. They may also be used for other problems, such as skin infections, as determined by your doctor.

This medicine is available only with your doctor"s prescription, in the following dosage forms:

  • Topical
  • Gel (U.S.)

Before Using This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of using the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For topical dapsone, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this or to any other dapsone products. Also tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy—Topical dapsone has not been studied in pregnant women. However, this medication has not been shown to cause birth defects or other problems in animal studies.

Breast-feeding—Topical dapsone passes into breast milk, and may cause unwanted effects in nursing babies. It may be necessary for you to use another medicine or to stop breast feeding during treatment. Be sure you have discussed the risks and benefits of the medicine with your doctor.

Children—Studies on this medicine have been done only in adult and teenager patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of topical dapsone in children less than 12 years of age with use in other age groups.

Older adults—Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of topical dapsone in the elderly with use in other age groups.

Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are using any other topical prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine that is to be applied to the same area of the skin.

Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of topical dapsone. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Anemia (history of) or
  • Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency or
  • Hemoglobin M or
  • Methemoglobin reductase deficiency—May increase chance of severe blood disorder.

Proper Use of This Medicine

Dosing—Proper laboratory evaluation prior to starting dapsone treatment.

Not using for any other disorder other than that for which it was prescribed.

Gently washing the affected area with warm water and patting dry before applying this medicine.

  • For gel dosage form:
    • For acne
      • Adults and teenagers—Apply a thin layer to the affected area(s) of the skin twice daily, morning and evening.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed dose—If you miss a dose of this medicine, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.

Storage—To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Store away from heat and direct light.
  • Keep the medicine from freezing.
  • Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Ask your health care professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.

Precautions While Using This Medicine

Report any side effects to your physician for any blood problems that may be caused by this medicine.

Tell your doctor if you have history of anemia or an enzyme deficiency (such as G6PD).

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Frequency unknown

Attempts at killing oneself; bloating; body aches or pain; chills; congestion; constipation; cough; darkened urine; dryness or soreness of throat; fast heartbeat; fever; hoarseness; indigestion; loss of appetite; nausea; pains in stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back; runny nose; stomach pain; tender, swollen glands in neck; tonic and clonic muscle movements; trouble in swallowing; voice changes; vomiting, severe; yellow eyes or skin

Reported in clinical trials

Discouragement; feeling sad or empty; feeling that others are watching you or controlling your behavior; feeling that others can hear your thoughts; feeling, seeing, or hearing things that are not there; irritability; loss of interest or pleasure; severe mood or mental changes; tiredness; trouble concentrating; unusual behavior

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome.

More Common

Dryness; flushing, redness of skin; oiliness/peeling; unusually warm skin

Less common

Burning; diarrhea; difficulty in breathing; ear congestion; headache; itching skin; general feeling of discomfort or illness; headache; joint pain; joint sprain; muscle aches and pains; pain or tenderness around eyes and cheekbones; shivering; shortness of breath or troubled breathing; sneezing; sore throat; stuffy nose; sweating; tightness of chest or wheezing; trouble sleeping; unusual tiredness or weakness

Frequency unknown

Facial swelling

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Developed: 09/13/2005

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Typical mistypes for Dapsone
sapsone, xapsone, capsone, fapsone, rapsone, eapsone, dzpsone, dspsone, dwpsone, dqpsone, daosone, dalsone, da-sone, da0sone, dapaone, dapzone, dapxone, dapdone, dapeone, dapwone, dapsine, dapskne, dapslne, dapspne, daps0ne, daps9ne, dapsobe, dapsome, dapsoje, dapsohe, dapsonw, dapsons, dapsond, dapsonr, dapson4, dapson3, apsone, dpsone, dasone, dapone, dapsne, dapsoe, dapson, adpsone, dpasone, daspone, daposne, dapsnoe, dapsoen, ddapsone, daapsone, dappsone, dapssone, dapsoone, dapsonne, dapsonee, etc.

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