What is the efficacy of dapsone for the treatment of alopecia areata?

Updated: Jun 07, 2018
  • Author: Chantal Bolduc, MD, FRCPC; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Dapsone at 50 mg twice per day was used in a 6-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Of patients in the study, 54% (7 of 13) withdrew from the dapsone group because of adverse effects such as malaise. Of the remaining 6 patients, 3 experienced generalized growth of terminal hair, compared with 4 (4 of 13) patients in the placebo group, who experienced only sparse patchy regrowth of vellus hair. The authors concluded that although dapsone showed some efficacy, the high incidence of adverse effects rendered it unacceptable. Another study showed a rate of success comparable to the occurrence of spontaneous regrowth reported in the literature.


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