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In addition to the warnings listed above, the following syndromes and serious reactions have been reported in patients on Dapsone.
Dose-related hemolysis is the most common adverse effect and is seen in patients with or without G6PD deficiency. Almost all patients demonstrate the inter-related changes of a loss of 1-2g of hemoglobin, an increase in the reticulocytes (2-12%), a shortened red cell life span and a rise in methemoglobin. G6PD deficient patients have greater responses.
Nervous System Effects
Peripheral neuropathy is a definite but unusual complication of Dapsone therapy in non-leprosy patients. Motor loss is predominant. If muscle weakness appears, Dapsone should be withdrawn. Recovery on withdrawal is usually substantially complete. The mechanism of recovery is reported by axonal regeneration. Some recovered patients have tolerated retreatment at reduced dosage. In leprosy this complication may be difficult to distinguish from a leprosy reactional state.
Body As A Whole: In addition to the warnings and adverse effects reported above, additional adverse reactions include: nausea, vomiting, abdominal pains, pancreatitis, vertigo, blurred vision, tinnitus, insomnia, fever, headache, psychosis, phototoxicity, pulmonary eosinophilia, tachycardia, albuminuria, the nephrotic syndrome, hypoalbuminemia without proteinuria, renal papillary necrosis, male infertility, drug-induced Lupus erythematosus and an infectious mononucleosis-like syndrome. In general, with the exception of the complications of severe anoxia from overdosage (retinal and optic nerve damage, etc.) these adverse reactions have regressed off drug.
Read the Dapsone (dapsone) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
Rifampin lowers Dapsone levels 7 to 10-fold by accelerating plasma clearance; in leprosy this reduction has not required a change in dosage. Folic acid antagonists such as pyrimethamine may increase the likelihood of hematologic reactions.
A modest interaction has been reported for patients receiving 100 mg Dapsone daily in combination with trimethoprim 5 mg/kg q6h. On Day 7, the serum Dapsone levels averaged 2.1 ± 1.0 μg/mL in comparison to 1.5 ± 0.5 μg/mL for Dapsone alone. On Day 7, trimethoprim levels averaged 18.4 ± 5.2 μg/mL in comparison to 12.4 ± 4.5 μg/mL for patients not receiving Dapsone. Thus, there is a mutual interaction between Dapsone and trimethoprim in which each raises the level of the other about 1.5 times.
A crossover study1 designed to assess the potential of a drug interaction between Dapsone, 100 mg/day and trimethoprim, 200 mg every 12 hours, in eight asymptomatic HIV positive volunteers (average CD4 count 524 cells/mm ) demonstrated that there was not a significant drug intreraction between Dapsone and trimethoprim. However, an earlier report2 also by Lee et al, in 78 HIV infected patients with acute Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, receiving Dapsone, 100 mg/day and higher trimethoprim dose, 20 mg/kg/day, demonstrated that the serum levels of Dapsone were increased by 40% and trimethoprim levels were increased by 48% when the drugs were administered concurrently.
Last reviewed on RxList: 3/19/2014
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Dapsone Information
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