What is Hydroxyurea ?

Hydroxyurea is an antineoplastic (anti-cancer) agent used to treat melanoma, resistant chronic myelocytic leukemia, and recurrent, metastatic, or inoperative ovarian and primary squamous cell (epidermoid) carcinomas of the head and neck.

Hydroxyurea Uses

This medicine 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 for the treatment of certain types of cancer (such as chronic myelogenous leukemia, squamous cell carcinomas).

How to use Hydroxyurea

Read the Medication prescription guide, before you start taking hydroxyurea and every time you get a refill. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Take this medicine orally with or without meals as directed by your doctor, usually taken once a day. The dosage is completely based on your weight, medical condition, laboratory results, and how you respond to the treatment. Your treatment may be stopped for a short time if your blood count is too low.

Do not increase your dose or use this medicine more often or longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve faster, and your risk of serious side effects will increase.

If you're using the capsules, swallow them whole. Never crush or chew or open the capsules.

If you are using a tablet, swallow your dose with a glass of water. Only split the tablet if it has a score line and your doctor has instructed you to do that. If you have trouble swallowing, dissolve the whole or split tablet in a small amount of water in a teaspoon and swallow it immediately.

Wash your hands before and after handling the medication or the container. When handling this medicine or its container, you and/or your caregiver should wear disposable gloves. If you spill the powder from the tablet or capsule, wipe it off immediately with a tissue or a wet paper towel and throw it away in a closed container such as a plastic bag. Clean the spill area with soap and water right again. Make sure you don't breathe the powder out of the tablets or capsules.

Since this medicine gets absorbed through the skin and lungs, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not take this medicine or breathe the dust from the tablets or capsules.

Talk to your doctor if your condition is not getting any better or healthier.

Hydroxyurea Side Effects

  • Stomach pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mouth sores
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Skin problems
  • Ulcers
  • Darkened or blackened skin
  • Reddened skin
  • Mental or mood changes
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Shortness of breath
  • Signs of kidney problems
  • Change in the amount of urine
  • Chest pain
  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Swelling offace/tongue/throat)
  • Severe dizziness
  • Trouble breathing.


  • Tell your doctor or pharmacist whether you are allergic to it or whether you have any other reactions before taking nystatin. There might be some inactive ingredients in this substance that might cause allergic reactions or other problems. For more information or details, talk to your pharmacist.
  • Before using this medicine, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, in particular: kidney disease, liver disease, blood/bone marrow disorders (such as bone marrow suppression, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, anemia), HIV infection, high blood uric acid levels, radiation therapy.
  • Hydroxyurea may make you more likely to develop infections or may worsen your current infections. Evite contact with people who have infections that may spread to others (such as chickenpox, measles, flu). Consult your doctor if you have been exposed to an infection or for further details.
  • Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without your doctor's consent. Evite contact with people who have recently received live vaccines (such as flu vaccine inhaled through the nose).
  • To reduce the chance of being cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects such as razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports.
  • Older adults might be more prone to the side effects of the drug.
  • It is not known if this medicine affects sperm. If you plan to have a child with your father, discuss the risks and benefits of this medicine with your doctor.
  • Do not become pregnant while taking hydroxyurea. Hydroxyurea may harm an unborn child. Men with female partners of childbearing age should be asked about reliable forms of birth control while taking this medicine and for 1 year after stopping treatment.
  • Women of childbearing age should be asked about reliable forms of birth control while taking this medicine and for 6 months after stopping treatment.
  • Hydroxyurea passes into breast milk and may have adverse effects on a nursing infant. Breastfeeding is not recommended while you are taking this drug. Before breastfeeding, consult your doctor.


  • Do not share this medicine with others.
  • The laboratory and/or medical tests (such as complete blood count, kidney/liver function) must be done before you start taking this medicine and while you are taking it.
  • Your doctor may also direct you to take folic acid while you are taking hydroxyurea because of the risk of anemia. Ask your doctor for more details.

Missed Dose

If you forgot to take any dose, take it as soon as you remember it. If it is already near the next dose, skip the missed or forgotten dose. Start taking your next dosages on a regular basis. Don't double your dose to catch up.


Store away from light and moisture at room temperature. Don't store it in the bathroom. Keep all drugs away from children and pets. Do not flush the medication down the toilet or pour it into the drain unless instructed to do so. Discard this product properly when it has expired or is no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or your local waste disposal company.

Warnings for some health conditions:

Cetrorelix binds to the hormone receptor-releasing gonadotropin and functions as a potent inhibitor of gonadotropin secretion. It competes with natural GnRH for binding to pituitary cell membrane receptors and thus regulates the release of LH and FSH in a dose-dependent manner.

Hydroxyurea vs Hydroxychloroquine



Formula: CH4N2O2 Formula: C18H26ClN3O
Also known as Hydroxycarbamide sold under the brand name Plaquenil
This medicine 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. Hydroxychloroquine is used for treating malaria caused by mosquito bites.
Molecular Weight: 76.055 g/mol Molecular Weight: 335.9 g/mol

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the drug Hydroxyurea used for?

This medicine 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 for the treatment of certain types of cancer (such as chronic myelogenous leukemia, squamous cell carcinomas).

How does Hydroxyurea work?

Hydroxyurea works by increasing your hemoglobin level. The size of your red blood cells (as measured by "mean cell volume" or MCV). Hydroxyurea works by making your red blood cells larger. Neutrophils, a white blood cell type.

Is Hydroxyurea a Chemotherapy drug?

Hydroxyurea (hydroxy carbamate, Hydrea) is a chemo drug that has helped some CMML patients live longer. This drug comes in the form of a capsule that is taken by mouth every day. It can bring down the number of white blood cells and monocytes to normal. It may also help to shrink the enlarged spleen.

What is the most common side effect of Hydroxyurea?

The common side effects of hydroxyurea are stomach pain, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea.

Does Hydroxyurea lower your immune system?

Hydroxyurea may weaken your immune system. Call your doctor at once if you have a fever, chills, body aches, extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, bruising, or unusual bleeding.

How quickly does Hydroxyurea work?

It takes several months for children with sickle cell disease to reach a full dose of hydroxyurea. At full doses, the number of blood cells in the body should be slightly reduced. One type of blood cell that may be reduced is a white blood cell called a neutrophil.

What are the long-term effects of Hydroxyurea?

Long-term treatment with hydroxyurea is associated with painful skin ulcers, aphthous ulcers, erythema-free toxicity, and skin infiltration.

How long does Hydroxyurea stay in the body?

Recovery: within 7-10 days of discontinuation of therapy (reversal of white blood count occurs rapidly, but the platelet count may take 7-10 days to recover). These side effects are less common (approximately 10-29%) side effects in patients receiving Hydroxyurea: hair loss (mild thinning).

Can Hydroxyurea cause liver damage?

The severity of liver injury associated with hydroxyurea therapy is usually mild and self-limiting. It has not been linked to cases of chronic hepatitis or extinct bile duct syndrome.

Does Hydroxyurea thin the blood?

Hydroxyurea may temporarily reduce the number of white blood cells in your blood, which increases the chance of infection. It may also reduce the number of platelets needed for proper blood clotting.

Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.