What is dapsone?
Dapsone is an antibacterial prescription medicine approved by the U.S.(FDA) for the treatment of certain diseases affecting the skin, such as dermatitis herpetiformis and leprosy.
Dapsone may also be used What is an Opportunistic Infection? fact sheet.to prevent and/or treat other conditions, including certain (OI) of HIV. An OI is an that occurs more frequently or is more severe in people with weakened —such as people with HIV—than in people with healthy immune systems. To learn more about OIs, read the HIVinfo
How is dapsone used in people with HIV?
The Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Adults and Adolescents with HIV and the Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Children with and Exposed to HIV include recommendations on the use of dapsone to:
- PCP from occurring the first time and from recurring
- TE from occurring the first time
The recommended uses may not always be consistent with FDA-approved uses of dapsone. See the Adult and Pediatric Opportunistic Infection Guidelines for complete information on recommended uses of dapsone in adults and children with HIV. Dapsone may have other recommended uses not listed above.
What should I tell my health care provider before taking dapsone?
Before taking dapsone, tell your health care provider:
- If you are allergic to dapsone, sulfonamides ( ), or any other medicines.
- About any medical conditions you have or have had, especially:
- Blood-related disorders, including , glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6PD) deficiency, methemoglobin reductase deficiency, or hemoglobin-M disease
- About anything that could affect your ability to take medicines, such as difficulty swallowing or remembering to take pills.
- If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Talk to your health care provider about the risks and benefits of taking dapsone during pregnancy. The Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Adults and Adolescents with HIV may include other recommendations on the use of dapsone during pregnancy. Please refer to these guidelines for additional information.
- If you are breast/chestfeeding or plan to breast/chestfeed. For people with HIV in the United States, the Guideline recommends speaking with your health care provider to discuss options for feeding your baby. People with suppressed viral load have a less than 1% chance of transmitting HIV to their baby via their own milk.
- About other prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you or your child are taking or plan to take. Dapsone may affect the way other medicines or products work, and other medicines or products may affect how dapsone work. Ask your health care provider if there are interactions between dapsone and the other medicines you or your child take.
Ask your health care provider about possible side effects from dapsone. Your health care provider will tell you what to do if you have side effects.
How should I take dapsone?
Take dapsone according to your health care provider’s instructions. Your health care provider will tell you how much dapsone to take and when to take it. Before you start dapsone and each time you get a refill, read any printed information that comes with your medicine.
How should dapsone be stored?
- Store dapsone tablets at room temperature, 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C). Protect the tablets from light.
- Keep dapsone in the container that it came in and keep the container tightly closed.
- Do not use dapsone if the original seal over the container opening is broken or missing.
- Throw away dapsone that is no longer needed or expired (out of date). Follow FDA guidelines on how to safely dispose of unused medicine.
- Keep dapsone and all medicines out of reach of children.
Where can I find more information about dapsone?
- Recommendations on the HIV-related uses of dapsone, from the Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Adults and Adolescents with HIV and the Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Children with and Exposed to HIV.
- This Patient Version drug summary is based on the following FDA label(s): Tablet.
- The American Hospital Formulary Service (AHFS) Patient Medication Information for dapsone available from MedlinePlus.
- Research studies related to dapsone, from ClinicalTrials.gov. (The ClinicalTrials.gov search can be modified so that you can get results that better match your interests.)
Last Reviewed: August 23, 2023