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Hydrea (Hydroxyurea)

Hydrea (Hydroxyurea)

Hydroxyurea General Information

Hydrea (Hydroxyurea) is used in people with sickle cell anemia. It is a disorder of the blood caused by inherited abnormal hemoglobin. The abnormal hemoglobin causes distorted red blood cells. This medication helps to lessen the number of painful crises caused by the disease. It also helps to reduce the need for blood transfusions.

Hydrea (Hydroxyurea) may also be used to treat several types of cancer such as:

  • Squamous cell carcinomas
  • Chronic myelogenous leukemia

How does Hydrea (Hydroxyurea) work?

Hydrea (Hydroxyurea) works by damaging the RNA or DNA that tells the cell how to copy itself in the division.  If the cells are unable to divide, they die.  The faster the cells are dividing, the more likely it is that chemotherapy will kill the cells, causing the tumor to shrink.  They also induce cell suicide.

This medication helps the red blood cells stay around and be flexible. This lets them travel more easily through tiny blood vessels.

Why use Hydrea (Hydroxyurea)?

Hydrea (Hydroxyurea) is an antimetabolite drug. It is available for oral use with an active ingredient of Hydroxyurea. It is a white to off-white crystalline powder. It is freely soluble in water and practically soluble in alcohol. This product comes as a 500 mg capsule. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this medication.

How to use Hydrea (Hydroxyurea)?

Hydrea (Hydroxyurea) is to be taken by mouth usually once a day. Take it with a full glass of water. You may take it with or without food. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response.

It is important to take exactly as it is prescribed. Do not take more or often than the prescription. Remember to take it at the same time each day. Swallow the capsule as a whole. Do not chew or open the capsule.

What are the side-effects of Hydrea (Hydroxyurea)?

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Upset stomach
  • Constipation
  • Skin changes such as peeling or discoloration
  • Hair loss
  • Flu-like symptoms 
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Weight gain
  • Drowsiness

Warnings and Precautions

  • While taking this medication, do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the prescription of your doctor.
  • This drug is not recommended for use during pregnancy.
  • If you are breastfeeding women, consult your doctor first.
  • Tell your doctor if you have any medical history, current medications, or allergies.
  • Do not use this past the expiration date.
  • Keep this at a dry and clean place away from heat and moisture.