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This medication is used by people with sickle cell anemia to reduce the number of painful crises caused by the disease and to reduce the need for blood transfusions. Some brands are also used to treat certain types of cancer (such as chronic myelogenous leukemia, squamous cell carcinomas).
How to use Hydrea
Read the Medication Guide if available from your pharmacist before you start taking hydroxyurea and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. The dosage is based on your weight, medical condition, lab results, 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 appointments.
Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of serious side effects will increase.
If you are using the capsules, swallow the them whole. Do not crush, chew, or open the capsules.
If you are using the tablets, swallow your dose with a glass of water. Do not split/break the 100 milligrams tablet into smaller parts. Only split a tablet if it has a score line and your doctor has instructed you to do so. If you have trouble swallowing, you may dissolve the whole or split tablet in a small amount of water in a teaspoon and swallow it right away.
Wash hands before and after handling the medication or its container. You and/or your caregiver should wear disposable gloves when handling this medication or its container. If powder from the tablet or capsule spills, wipe it up right away with a wet paper towel and throw away in a closed container such as a plastic bag. Clean the spill area right away with soap and water. Make sure not to breathe the powder from the tablets/capsules.
Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from the tablets/capsules.
See also Warning Section.
Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, mouth sores, diarrhea, or constipation may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
People using this medication may have serious side effects. However, your doctor has prescribed this drug because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk ofside effects. Careful monitoring by your doctor may decrease your risk.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: skin problems (such as ulcers, darkened/blackened/reddened skin), mental/mood changes (such as confusion, hallucinations), seizures, shortness of breath, chest pain, signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine).
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.