Although not observed in the clinical trials with ACZONE Gel (topical dapsone) serious adverse reactions have been reported with oral use of dapsone, including agranulocytosis, hemolytic anemia, peripheral neuropathy (motor loss and muscle weakness), and skin reactions (toxic epidermal necrolysis, erythema multiforme, morbilliform and scarlatiniform reactions, bullous and exfoliative dermatitis, erythema nodosum, and urticaria).
Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.
The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of topical dapsone:
methemoglobinemia, rash (including erythematous rash, application site rash) and swelling of face (including lip swelling, eye swelling)
A drug-drug interaction study evaluated the effect of the use of ACZONE Gel, 5%, in combination with double strength (160 mg/800 mg) trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP/SMX). During co-administration, systemic levels of TMP and SMX were essentially unchanged. However, levels of dapsone and its metabolites increased in the presence of TMP/SMX. Systemic exposure (AUC0-12 ) of dapsone and N-acetyl-dapsone (NAD) were increased by about 40% and 20% respectively in the presence of TMP/SMX. Notably, systemic exposure (AUC0-12 ) of dapsone hydroxylamine (DHA) was more than doubled in the presence of TMP/SMX. Exposure from the proposed topical dose is about 1% of that from the 100 mg oral dose, even when co-administered with TMP/SMX.
Topical application of ACZONE Gel followed by benzoyl peroxide in subjects with acne vulgaris resulted in a temporary local yellow or orange discoloration of the skin and facial hair (reported by 7 out of 95 subjects in a clinical study) with resolution in 4 to 57 days.
Certain concomitant medications (such as rifampin, anticonvulsants, St. John’s wort) may increase the formation of dapsone hydroxylamine, a metabolite of dapsone associated with hemolysis. With oral dapsone treatment, folic acid antagonists such as pyrimethamine have been noted to possibly increase the likelihood of hematologic reactions.
Concomitant use of ACZONE with drugs that induce methemoglobinemia such as sulfonamides, acetaminophen, acetanilide, aniline dyes, benzocaine, chloroquine, dapsone, naphthalene, nitrates and nitrites, nitrofurantoin, nitroglycerin, nitroprusside, pamaquine, para‐aminosalicylic acid, phenacetin, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primaquine, and quinine may increase the risk for developing methemoglobinemia [ see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.1)].
There are no available data on ACZONE Gel, 5%, use in pregnant women to inform a drug-associated risk for adverse developmental outcomes. In animal reproduction studies, oral doses of dapsone administered to pregnant rats and rabbits during organogenesis that resulted in systemic exposures more than 250 times the systemic exposure at the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of ACZONE Gel, 5%, resulted in embryocidal effects. When orally administered to rats from the onset of organogenesis through the end of lactation at systemic exposures approximately 400 times the exposure at the MRHD, dapsone resulted in increased stillbirths and decreased pup weight [see Data].
The estimated background risks of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population are unknown. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2-4% and 15-20%, respectively.
Dapsone has been shown to have an embryocidal effect in rats and rabbits when administered orally daily to females during organogenesis at dosages of 75 mg/kg/day and 150 mg/kg/day, respectively. These dosages resulted in systemic exposures that represented approximately 956 times [rats] and 289 times [rabbits] the systemic exposure observed in human females as a result of use of the MRHD of ACZONE Gel, 5%, based on AUC comparisons. These effects were probably secondary to maternal toxicity.
Dapsone was assessed for effects on perinatal/postnatal pup development and postnatal maternal behavior and function in a study in which dapsone was orally administered to female rats daily beginning on the seventh day of gestation and continuing until the twenty-seventh day postpartum. Maternal toxicity (decreased body weight and food consumption) and developmental effects (increase in stillborn pups and decreased pup weight) were seen at a dapsone dose of 30 mg/kg/day (approximately 382 times the systemic exposure that is associated with the MRHD of ACZONE Gel, 5%, based on AUC comparisons). No effects were observed on the viability, physical development, behavior, learning ability, or reproductive function of surviving pups.
There is no information regarding the presence of topical dapsone in breastmilk, the effects on the breastfed infant, or the effects on milk production. Orally administered dapsone appears in human milk and could result in hemolytic anemia and hyperbilirubinemia especially in infants with G6PD deficiency. Systemic absorption of dapsone following topical application is minimal relative to oral dapsone administration; however, it is known that dapsone is present in human milk following administration of oral dapsone.
Safety and efficacy was evaluated in 1169 children aged 12-17 years old treated with ACZONE Gel, 5%, in the clinical trials. The adverse event rate for ACZONE Gel, 5%, was similar to the vehicle control group. Safety and efficacy was not studied in pediatric patients less than 12 years of age, therefore ACZONE Gel, 5%, is not recommended for use in this age group.
Clinical trials of ACZONE Gel, 5%, did not include sufficient number of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects.
ACZONE Gel, 5% and vehicle were evaluated in a randomized, double-blind, cross-over design clinical trial of 64 subjects with G6PD deficiency and acne vulgaris. Subjects were Black (88%), Asian (6%), Hispanic (2%) or of other racial origin (5%). Blood samples were taken at Baseline, Week 2, and Week 12 during both vehicle and ACZONE Gel, 5% treatment periods. There were 56 out of 64 subjects who had a Week 2 blood draw and applied at least 50% of treatment applications. Table 3 contains results from testing of relevant hematology parameters for these two treatment periods. ACZONE Gel was associated with a 0.32 g/dL drop in hemoglobin after two weeks of treatment, but hemoglobin levels generally returned to baseline levels at Week 12.
There were no changes from baseline in haptoglobin or lactate dehydrogenase during ACZONE or vehicle treatment at either the 2-week or 12-week time point.
The proportion of subjects who experienced decreases in hemoglobin ≥1 g/dL was similar between ACZONE Gel, 5% and vehicle treatment (8 of 58 subjects had such decreases during ACZONE treatment compared to 7 of 56 subjects during vehicle treatment among subjects with at least one on-treatment hemoglobin assessment). Subgroups based on gender, race, or G6PD enzyme activity did not display any differences in laboratory results from the overall study group. There was no evidence of clinically significant hemolytic anemia in this study. Some of these subjects developed laboratory changes suggestive of hemolysis.
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