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hydroxyurea sickle cell

Hydroxyurea is a medication used by people who live with sickle cell anemia to reduce the frequency of painful crises caused by the disease and also the need of blood transfusions. Other brands of hydroxyurea are also used for treating certain types of cancer (like chronic myelogenous leukemia and squamous cell carcinomas).

How to use Hydroxyurea (Sickle Cell) Capsule

Practice reading the Medication Guide if you find it from your pharmacist before you begin taking hydroxyurea and do so every time you get a refill. If you have questions, look for answers from your healthcare providers or pharmacist.

Related Post:What is a Sickle Cell Crisis, it’s Symptoms and causes? 

Take Hydroxyurea medication orally with or without food and as directed by your doctor, often once daily. The dosage you take depends on your weight, lab results, medical condition, and response to treatment. Your treatment may be stopped for a short time if your blood counts are too low. Keep all medical and lab appointment records.

Don’t add your dose or use the drug more often or longer than prescribed. Your condition will not get better any faster, and your risk of severe side effects will increase.

If you’re taking the capsules, swallow them whole. Don’t crush, chew, or open the capsules.

If you’re taking the tablets, swallow your them with a glass of water. Only split a tablet if it has a score line and if you’re following your doctor’s instructions. If you’ve trouble swallowing, you may dissolve it or split the tablet in a small amount of water in a teaspoon before swallowing it immediately.

Wash hands before and after handling the medicine or its container. You and/or your caregiver should put on disposable gloves when handling the medication or its container. If the powder from the tablet or capsule spills, wipe it off with a wet paper towel then discard it in a closed container. Clean the spill space right away using soap and water. Ensure that you don’t breathe in the powder.

Since hydroxyurea can be absorbed through the skin and lungs, pregnant women or those who may become pregnant should not handle the medication or breathe its dust from the tablets/capsules.

Who should not take Hydroxyurea?

These are contraindicated conditions with this drug. Check with your doctor if you have any of the following:

  • low levels of a type of white blood cell known as neutrophils
  • decreased blood platelets
  • inflammation of blood vessels in the skin
  • redness of skin after radiation therapy
  • a patient who is producing milk and breastfeeding
  • pregnancy
  • anemia because of depressed bone marrow
  • chronic kidney disease stage 3A (moderate)
  • chronic kidney disease stage 3B (moderate)
  • chronic kidney disease stage 4 (severe)
  • chronic kidney disease stage 5 (failure)
  • lung tissue problem

Discuss with your doctor if you’ve taken it and your condition has gotten better or rather worse.


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