Dapsone treats acne and leprosy. Topical dapsone may increase skin sensitivity and you may sunburn easier. Avoid prolonged exposure to sun and wear protective clothing.

Dapsone Overview


Dapsone is a prescription medication used to treat a certain skin infection. It is also used to treat leprosy and acne. Dapsone belongs to a group of drugs called anti-infectives. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria. It is unknown exactly how dapsone works against skin infections. 

This medication comes in a tablet form to be taken by mouth. The tablets are usually taken once a day, with or without food.

Dapsone also comes as a topical gel and is typically applied twice a day.

Common side effects of dapsone tablets includes upset stomach and vomiting. Dapsone tablets can also cause blurred vision. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how dapsone affects you.

Common side effects of dapsone gel includes oiliness/peeling, dryness, and redness of the skin at the application site.


Dapsone Genetic Information

G6PD is an enzyme in your body that is responsible for helping red blood cells to work properly. Some patients are born with less of this enzyme in their bodies, leading to the destruction of red blood cells. When dapsone is used in patients with G6PD deficiency, they have a higher chance of experiencing hemolytic anemia (a condition in which the body does not have enough red blood cells to deliver oxygen to your tissues).

G6PD testing may be done to determine whether you are at a higher risk of experiencing hemolytic anemia if you are to be treated with dapsone. In addition, patients who are G6PD deficient may be more likely to experience jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes) while taking dapsone.

Your doctor will select an alternative medication as dapsone should not be given to patients with G6PD deficiency.

Patient Ratings for Dapsone

How was your experience with Dapsone?

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What are you taking Dapsone for?

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  • Other
  • Aids-related Opportunistic Infections
  • Dermatitis Herpetiformis
  • Leprosy, Lepromatous
  • Malaria
  • Polychondritis, Relapsing
  • Toxoplasmosis

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  • Less than a week
  • A couple weeks
  • A month or so
  • A few months
  • A year or so
  • Two years or more

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Uses of Dapsone

Oral Tablets:

  • Dapsone is a prescription medication used to treat a skin infection called dermatitis herpetiformis, a rash with bumps and blisters that is very itchy and stays over a long period of time.
  • It is also used to treat leprosy, a chronic infectious disease that affects the nerves, skin, respiratory tract, eyes, and sinuses.  

Topical Gel:

  • Topically, dapsone is used to treat acne.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Dapsone Brand Names

Dapsone may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Dapsone Drug Class

Dapsone is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Dapsone

Serious side effects have been reported with dapsone. See the "Drug Precautions" section.

Common side effects of dapsone tablets include the following:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • upset stomach
  • trouble sleeping
  • blurred vision
  • headache
  • fast heartbeat

Common side effects of dapsone gel include the following:

  • oiliness/peeling of skin
  • dry skin
  • redness of the skin at the application site

This is not a complete list of dapsone side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.