Public Health and Primary CareCASE REPORTS

Pathophysiologic Mechanisms, Diagnosis, and Management of Dapsone-Induced Methemoglobinemia

John V. Ashurst, OMS IV; Megan N. Wasson, OMS IV; William Hauger, MD; and William T. Fritz, MD
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: April 15, 2009

Accepted: November 11, 2009

Published: January 1, 2010

J Osteopath Med; 110(1): 16-20

Dapsone is a leprostatic agent commonly prescribed for the treatment of patients with leprosy, malaria, and a variety of blistering skin diseases, including dermatitis herpetiformis. Methemoglobinemia, a potentially life-threatening condition in which the oxygen-carrying capacity of blood in body tissues is reduced, is a known adverse effect of dapsone use. The authors report a case of dapsone-induced methemoglobinemia observed in the emergency department during routine workup for contact dermatitis in a patient with celiac disease. The pathophysiologic mechanisms, diagnosis, and management of dapsone-induced methemoglobinemia are discussed.

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