12 July 2017
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General Info: Uses and Effects
Dapsone Generic (Dapsone) is an antibiotic similar to Cleocin (Clindamycin) and Cipro (Ciprofloxacin). It is a member of the sulfone group of drugs. Dapsone is used in the treatment of a skin problem, known as dermatitis herpetiformis. Dermatitis is marked by groups of watery, itchy blisters that look like pimples or blisters on the skin of the patient.
Dapsone is also used to treat leprosy but only in combination with other medicines. Additionally, this drug cures bites from the brown recluse spider that become necrotic. It works by stopping or reducing the growth rate of bacteria, thus, the swelling of the skin is reduced. Dapsone is also used in the treatment or prevention of pulmonary infection due to HIV, brain infection due to HIV, acne, and immune system disorders like systemic lupus erythematosus.
The antibiotic does not work in the treatment of viral infections. Misuse of Dapsone may reduce its effectiveness hence a physician should consult a patient about how and when to use this pill. The consultation is also necessary since the medicine can cause severe side effects. However, the World Health Organization listed this antibiotic as one of the essential drugs needed in the health system. It is an affordable drug since insurance companies have included them in their covers. The average price of a 25mg tablet is $60 for a pack with 30 tablets, depending on the pharmacy.
Contraindication: Important to Know
Before taking Dapsone, the patient should inform the doctor if they are allergic to it or similar drugs like Sulfoxone. Previous cases of medical conditions should be reported by providing the latest medical history report. It is essential to inform the physician of medical situations, such as:
- Severe anemia;
- Methemoglobin reductase deficiency;
- Certain blood disorders;
- Heart disease;
- Severe lung disease;
- Serious infection;
- High blood sugar;
- HIV infection.
Female patients should also inform the doctor when they are prescribed Dapsone during pregnancy to prevent undesirable adverse effects. Individuals should also notify the physician of the medicines they may be taking to control or treat other ailments apart from those treated using this drug. Patients with related liver cases or liver impairment should also provide detailed information of their infections. The effects of taking Dapsone may be fatal, hence a physician supervision is needed.
Instructions on Taking
Prescription labels provide guidance on using the antibiotic. The doctors may also offer extra instructions apart from those on the labels. Common guidelines to follow when taking Dapsone include:
- Each dose of Dapsone should be taken with a full glass of water;
- The drug can be taken with or without food. Taking it with food, however, reduces the risks of a stomach upset;
- The individual can take the antibiotic at the time of the day they find easiest to remember but the set times should be similar each day. It should, however, be taken at regular intervals so that it can provide maximum treatment benefits. Each dosage of Dapsone should be separated with other doses by at least 2 hours;
- Before taking Dapsone, the patient should read the information provided by the manufacturer on the leaflet to learn about the possible negative effects that may result. If the medicine causes side effects on several occasions, the patient should frequently visit the doctor;
- The individual should be aware of the strength of their tablet. This ensures that they purchase the tablets with similar strengths from the initial prescription each time they go to collect a new supply of Dapsone;
- In case the patient forgets taking a dose, they should take it as soon as they remember. If they forget taking the dosage until the day that follows, they should take it that is due. A missed dose should not be taken with another to make up for the missed one.
Patients taking Dapsone to treat dermatitis herpetiformis are advised to take food to achieve a gluten-free diet.
The dosage of Dapsone depends on the patients' medical condition and their respond to the treatment. However, the age and weight of children lead to a variation in the doses they are provided with. The doses are also adjusted if the side effects are severe, or they don't treat the disease. Dapsone doses come in a strength of 25mg and 100mg. Patients with a severe case of leprosy may be provided with a 50-100mg oral dosage to be taken once a day for 2-5 years. A pediatric dose for leprosy comprises of 1 to 2mg/kg. It should be provided once a day.
The following doses for adults can also be used as a guide:
- Leprosy (Tuberculoid) - Dosage: 50-100mg (should be taken orally). Period: six months
- Pneumonia - Dosage: 100mg (should be taken orally). Period: twice a week
- Dermatitis Herpetiformis - Dosage: 50mg (should be taken orally). Period: once a day for life
- Toxoplasmosis - Dosage: 100mg (should be taken orally). Period: twice a week for life
Most side effects due to the Dapsone use occur if the patient does not meet the recommended prescription by the doctor. They may also occur if the individual didn't provide a detailed record of his/her medical history. Dapsone is considered a safe drug hence it has minimal adverse effects.
More common side effects include:
- Fingernails, lips, or skin may turn bluish;
- Skin rash;
- Difficulties in breathing;
- Unusual tiredness or weakness;
- Loss of appetite;
- Pale skin;
- Back, leg, or stomach pains.
Rare side effects include:
- Unusual bleeding or bruising;
- Loss of appetite;
- Yellow eyes or skin;
- Trouble in sleeping;
- Numbness, tingling, pain, burning, or weakness in hands or feet.
Patients should seek medical assistance as soon as they detect symptoms of unwanted effects in their bodies.
Interaction with Other Drugs
Dapsone interacts with other pills, and its effect may be reduced. As a result, patients using this medicine along with the following medicines should take precautions:
- Aspirin Low Strength (Aspirin);
- Bactrim (Sulfamethoxazole / Trimethoprim);
- Cymbalta (Duloxetine);
- Lasix (Furosemide);
- Lexapro (Escitalopram);
- Lyrica (Pregabalin).
Dapsone is a safe and inexpensive drug that is available at local pharmacies. With its wide range of diseases it treats, caution is needed on the dosage. There should also be close supervision when the patient is taking this medicine.
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