What is dapsone?
Dapsone is an oral drug that is used to treat some forms of cutaneous vasculitis as well as Behcet’s disease. It is an old drug that is in fact an antibiotic and not an immunosuppressant. In some cases, dapsone is also used to prevent a specific type of fungal pneumonia (Pneumocystis) in vasculitis patients who are on strongly immunosuppressive therapies.
How does dapsone work?
Dapsone seems to work by preventing activation of immune cells.
How is dapsone given?
Dapsone is given as an oral pill generally at a dose of 100 mg daily.
While dapsone does not cause an increased risk of infection, it does have the risk of side effects. Some patients may develop a form of anemia while taking this medication. Regular blood test monitoring is required to detect this side effect. Patients with a condition called G6PD deficiency are at particular risk of this side effect, and G6PD testing is therefore done by blood test prior to the use of dapsone.