Hydroxyurea

Description

Hydroxyurea is an orally active anticancer agent which is used alone or in combination with other cancer drugs or radiotherapy for the treatment of various chronic myeloid leukemia and cancers of the head, neck, and cervix. It is also used in reducing the painful crisis and reduce the need for blood transfusions in adults and children (2 years of age and older) with sickle cell anemia. It should be used under the supervision of a qualified physician.

Side effects

Major & minor side effects for Hydroxyurea

  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dizziness
  • Chills and fever
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Hair loss
  • Lower back or side pain

Uses of Hydroxyurea

What is it prescribed for?

  • Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)
  • Head and Neck Cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Sickle cell anemia
Read More
Concerns

Commonly asked questions

  • Onset of action
    The peak effect of this medicine can be observed within 1-4 hours of administration of dose.
  • Duration of effect
    The effect of this medicine lasts for an average duration of 24 hours.
  • Safe with alcohol?
    Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
  • Is it habit forming?
    No habit-forming tendencies were reported.
  • Usage in pregnancy?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women unless absolutely necessary. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before receiving this medicine.
  • Usage while breast-feeding?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before using this medicine. Your doctor may advise you to discontinue the drug or to discontinue breastfeeding based on your clinical condition

Allergy

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with a known allergy to hydroxyurea, or any other inactive ingredients present along with it.

Pregnancy

This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women due to the increased risk of birth defects.

Bone marrow suppression

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with bone marrow suppression due to the increased risk of worsening of the patient's condition.
Warnings for special population

Pregnancy

This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women unless absolutely necessary. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before receiving this medicine.

Breast-feeding

This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before using this medicine. Your doctor may advise you to discontinue the drug or to discontinue breastfeeding based on your clinical condition
General warnings

Bonemarrow suppression

This medicine causes may cause bone marrow suppression which in turn lowers the white blood cell count (neutrophils) and platelets. Close monitoring of blood cell count is necessary. The baseline of the blood cell count should be obtained before initiation of the treatment. Do not start the treatment if the counts are lower than the reference range.

Secondary Malignancies

This medicine is known to cause secondary cancers especially leukemia and skin cancers. Close monitoring of signs and symptoms is necessary. The treatment should be discontinued if malignancy develops. Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

Vascular toxicities

This medicine is known to cause blood vessel toxicities like vasculitic ulcerations and gangrene, especially in patients who are on interferon therapy. Close monitoring of signs and symptoms is necessary. The treatment should be discontinued if any vascular toxicities develop.

Antiretroviral therapy

This medicine is not recommended for use in combination with antiretroviral agents for HIV disease and it may cause treatment failure and toxicities (in some cases fatal) in HIV patients.

Use of contraceptives

The use of this medicine by either of the parents may cause serious birth defects. So, patients (both men and women) who are taking this medicine should use birth control methods for 6-12 months post-therapy with this medicine to avoid pregnancy.

Driving or Operating machinery

Use of this medicine may cause dizziness in some patients. It is advised that you do not perform any activities such as driving a vehicle or operating machinery if you experience dizziness during the treatment with this medicine.

Missed Dose

The missed dose of this medicine should be taken as soon as possible. It is advisable to skip the missed dose if it is already the time for your next scheduled dose. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed dose.

Overdose

Seek emergency medical treatment or contact the doctor in case of an overdose.
All drugs interact differently for person to person. You should check all the possible interactions with your doctor before starting any medicine.
Interaction with Alcohol

Description

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.

Instructions

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
Interaction with Medicine

Live attenuated vaccines and related products

Etanercept

Didanosine

Adalimumab

Clozapine

Disease interactions

Kidney Disease

This medicine should be used with caution in patients suffering from kidney diseases due to the increased risk of severe adverse effects. Close monitoring of kidney function tests is necessary while receiving this medicine. Appropriate dose adjustments or replacement with a suitable alternative may be required in some cases based on the clinical condition.

Seizures

This medicine should be used with caution in patients with seizures due to the increased risk of worsening of the patient's condition. You may require a dose adjustment and more frequent clinical monitoring to safely use this medicine. An alternative treatment option should be considered in some cases based on the clinical condition.

Liver Disease

This medicine should be used with caution in patients suffering from liver diseases due to the increased risk of adverse effects. Close monitoring of liver function tests is necessary while receiving this medicine. Appropriate dose adjustments or replacement with a suitable alternative may be required in some cases based on the clinical condition.

Neurological disorders

This medicine should be used with caution in patients with neurological disorders due to the increased risk of worsening of the patient's condition. Close monitoring for any change in mood or behavior is required while using this medicine. Appropriate dose adjustments or replacement with a suitable alternative may be required in some cases based on the clinical condition.
Food interactions
Information not available.
Lab interactions
Information not available.
Take this medicine as advised by the doctor. It should be given in multiple cycles along with other chemotherapy agents. It is important to receive every scheduled dose. The blood cells count and kidney function should be assessed before starting the treatment. Any signs and symptoms of heart and lung dysfunction should be reported to the doctor on priority.
Miscelleneous

Can be taken with or without food, as advised by your doctor

To be taken as instructed by doctor

May cause sleepiness

How it works
It works by interfering with the DNA synthesis and inhibiting the tumor growth.
Legal Status

Approved

Approved

Approved

Approved

Classification

Category

Antimetabolites

Schedule

Schedule H

[Internet]. Dailymed.nlm.nih.gov. 2018 [cited 11 September 2018]. Available from:

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=76957c0d-0f98-4376-bb06-eee651adc09d

[Internet]. Medicines.org.uk. 2018 [cited 11 September 2018]. Available from:

https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/4033/smpc

[Internet]. Ebs.tga.gov.au. 2018 [cited 11 September 2018]. Available from:

https://www.ebs.tga.gov.au/ebs/picmi/picmirepository.nsf/pdf?OpenAgent&id=CP-2010-PI-02635-3&d=201809111016933

How will this medicine affect me?

Consult top doctors online and get an answer now
Chat now

Looking for a doctor?

Book an appointment with the top doctors near you
Book now
Something doesn’t feel right?
Report an error

Information on this page was last updated on 9 Jan 2019

Disclaimer

We’ve made all possible efforts to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, however, it should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Practo only provides reference source for common information on medicines and does not guarantee its accuracy or exhaustiveness. The absence of a warning for any drug or combination thereof, should not be assumed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for any given patient. Practo does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information provided above. If you have any doubts about your medication then we strongly recommend that you consult with your doctor, nurse or healthcare provider. See detailed T&C here.