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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 86-90

Dapsone as a cheap and safe second-line drug for chronic immune thrombocytopenia in developing countries: A prospective cohort study

1 Department of Clinical Hematology, SKIMS, Soura, Jammu and Kashmir, India
2 Department of Pediatrics, SKIMS, Soura, Jammu and Kashmir, India
3 Department of General Surgery, SKIMS, Soura, Jammu and Kashmir, India
4 Lab Hematology, SKIMS, Soura, Jammu and Kashmir, India

Correspondence Address:
Asif Ahmed
Department of Pediatrics, SKIMS, Soura, Jammu and Kashmir
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1658-5127.141991

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Objective: The aim was to evaluate the efficacy and safety profile of dapsone as a cheap second-line treatment for chronic immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) in developing countries. Materials and Methods: A prospective study on 100 chronic ITP patients. These patients were put on dapsone after ruling out glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency and secondary causes of ITP. Results: The basic work up for secondary causes of ITP was negative. All these patients had been treated with steroids in the past. Anti-D had been given acutely in 20 patients, and intravenous immunoglobulin G had been given in 10 patients. Vincristine had been given to 20 of these patients. Dapsone was started in these patients, and 44% patients showed a response to treatment. The mean time to onset of response was 21 days. Out of these 44 patients, 21 (47.7%) went into remission and had platelet count >100,000/μl at 2 years post tapering of the treatment. Remaining 23 patients were kept on low dose dapsone and maintained their platelet counts. Adverse drug reactions included mild skin eruptions in 5% of patients, pruritus in 10% of patients, dose-related hemolysis in 1% of patients, methemoglobinemia in 1% of patients and Stevens Johnson syndrome in 1% of patients. 56 patients were nonresponders to the available, affordable conventional medical treatment and were referred to the surgical department for splenectomy, with a cure rate of 86% postsurgery. Conclusions: Dapsone is a safe, cheap and effective treatment option for patients with chronic ITP, who cannot afford the usual costlier second-line drugs.

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