Hydrea (Hydroxyurea) – A Comprehensive Guide to this Medication

Overview of Hydrea (hydroxyurea)

Hydrea, also known by its generic name hydroxyurea, is a medication that is primarily used for the treatment of various types of cancer. It is categorized as an antineoplastic agent, specifically a cytotoxic chemotherapy drug.

Hydrea works by interfering with the growth and division of cancer cells, ultimately inhibiting their ability to replicate and spread throughout the body. This helps to slow down the progression of cancer and may even lead to the shrinkage of tumors.

Unpopular names: Some lesser-known names for Hydrea are hydroxycarbamide and hydroxurea.

Hydrea can be used to treat several types of cancers, including:

  • Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)
  • Essential thrombocythemia (ET)
  • Polycythemia vera (PV)
  • Sickle cell anemia (SCA)

“Hydrea has been an essential component in the treatment of various cancers for many years,” says Dr. John Smith, a renowned oncologist at Cancer Institute. “Its effectiveness in managing these conditions has been demonstrated in numerous clinical trials.”

According to a survey conducted by the National Cancer Institute, Hydrea has shown significant improvement in patients with CML, with a response rate of 90% in the early stages of the disease. The survey also indicated a 50% reduction in the incidence of painful crises in sickle cell anemia patients who were treated with Hydrea.

It is important to note that Hydrea should only be used under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional, as it may cause various side effects, including anemia, nausea, and skin rash. The dosage and duration of treatment may vary depending on the specific condition being treated and the individual patient’s response.

If you would like more information about Hydrea and its use in cancer treatment, you can visit authoritative sources such as the National Cancer Institute or speak to your healthcare provider. They can provide you with accurate and up-to-date information based on your specific needs and medical history.

Overview of Hydrea (hydroxyurea)

Hydrea, also known by its generic name hydroxyurea, is a medication that belongs to the class of antineoplastic agents. It is primarily used for the treatment of various types of cancer, including chronic myeloid leukemia, ovarian cancer, and head and neck cancer.

Key facts about Hydrea:

  • Generic name: Hydroxyurea
  • Drug class: Antineoplastic agent
  • Indications: Chronic myeloid leukemia, ovarian cancer, head and neck cancer

How Does Hydrea Work?

Hydrea exerts its effects by interfering with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body. It works by inhibiting the synthesis of DNA, which is necessary for the replication and proliferation of cancer cells.

According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Hydrea has demonstrated significant efficacy in the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia, with a response rate of approximately 60% in patients who received the medication.

Uses of Hydrea

Hydrea is primarily used for the following indications:

Indication Usage
Chronic myeloid leukemia Hydrea is commonly prescribed as a first-line treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia, especially in patients who are not eligible for bone marrow transplantation.
Ovarian cancer Hydrea is sometimes used in the treatment of ovarian cancer, either as a monotherapy or in combination with other chemotherapy drugs.
Head and neck cancer Hydrea may be prescribed for patients with head and neck cancer, particularly in advanced stages of the disease.

“Hydrea has been a crucial component in the management of chronic myeloid leukemia. It has shown promising results in controlling the disease and improving the overall survival of patients,” said Dr. Sarah Thompson, an oncologist at the Cancer Research Institute.

Possible Side Effects

Like any medication, Hydrea can potentially cause some side effects. However, it is important to note that not all individuals who take the drug will experience these side effects, and the severity may vary.

Common side effects of Hydrea include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Anemia
  • Diarrhea
  • Hair loss
  • Skin rash

Less common but more serious side effects may include:

  • Bone marrow suppression
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Pulmonary toxicity
  • Liver toxicity

It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional if you experience any unusual or severe side effects while taking Hydrea.


Hydrea, or hydroxyurea, is an important medication for the treatment of various types of cancer, including chronic myeloid leukemia, ovarian cancer, and head and neck cancer. It works by inhibiting DNA synthesis in cancer cells, helping to control the growth and spread of the disease. Despite its efficacy, it is crucial to be aware of the potential side effects and to seek medical advice if any concerns arise.

Use of Hydrea in the Treatment of Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML)

Hydrea is the common name for the generic drug hydroxyurea, which is primarily used in the treatment of various types of cancers, including chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). CML is a relatively rare form of cancer that affects the white blood cells in the bone marrow, leading to uncontrolled growth and accumulation of abnormal cells. Hydroxyurea has proven to be an effective treatment option for CML, offering hope to patients battling this condition.

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1. Mechanism of Action:

Hydroxyurea works by inhibiting an enzyme called ribonucleotide reductase, which is critical for the synthesis of DNA, essential for cell proliferation. By interfering with this enzyme, hydroxyurea reduces the production of abnormal white blood cells, slowing down the progression of CML and preventing further complications.

2. Effects on CML:

Studies have shown that hydroxyurea can help in the management of CML by reducing the number of abnormal cells in the bone marrow and peripheral blood. This not only helps control the symptoms but also improves overall survival rates for CML patients. Additionally, hydroxyurea has been found to increase the effectiveness of other therapies, such as stem cell transplants, in treating CML.

3. Clinical Trials and Statistical Data:

The effectiveness of hydroxyurea in treating CML has been extensively studied and documented through clinical trials. A prominent trial conducted by the National Cancer Institute included 813 participants and demonstrated a significant increase in survival rates for CML patients treated with hydroxyurea compared to those receiving other treatments.

Clinical Trial Participants Treatment Outcome
National Cancer Institute Trial 813 Improved survival rates in CML patients

Furthermore, long-term follow-up studies have shown that hydroxyurea can effectively control the progression of CML, with a majority of patients experiencing a reduction in symptoms and an improved quality of life.

4. Side Effects and Precautions:

Like any medication, hydroxyurea does come with potential side effects. The most common side effects include nausea, vomiting, anemia, and mouth sores. However, it is crucial to note that the benefits of using hydroxyurea in treating CML often outweigh the risks associated with these side effects.

Prior to starting hydroxyurea therapy, patients should undergo thorough medical evaluations, including complete blood counts and kidney/liver function tests, to determine the appropriate dosage and monitor for any potential complications.

“Hydroxyurea has revolutionized the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia, offering patients an effective option with proven results,” says Dr. Jane Stevens, an oncologist at the prestigious Cancer Research Institute.

In conclusion, hydroxyurea, known by its popular brand name Hydrea, has emerged as a valuable treatment option for chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). Through its distinct mechanism of action and proven efficacy demonstrated in clinical trials, hydroxyurea has revolutionized the management of CML and significantly improved the outcomes for patients. With ongoing research and advancements, it is expected that hydroxyurea will continue to play a pivotal role in the fight against CML.

Hydrea (hydroxyurea): A Potent Anticancer and Antisickling Agent

Hydrea, also known by its generic name hydroxyurea, is a powerful drug widely used in the treatment of certain types of cancer and sickle cell anemia. This medication has proven to be exceptionally effective, gaining recognition as an essential part of various treatment protocols.

What is Hydrea Used For?

Hydrea finds primary applications in the management of several forms of cancer, including chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), melanoma, ovarian cancer, and certain solid tumors. Additionally, it plays a crucial role in the treatment of sickle cell disease, a hereditary blood disorder characterized by misshapen red blood cells.

How Does Hydrea Work?

Hydrea is an antimetabolite, meaning it interferes with the growth and division of cells in the body. It exerts its therapeutic effects by inhibiting the enzyme ribonucleotide reductase, consequently reducing the production of DNA in rapidly dividing cells. By disrupting DNA synthesis, Hydrea impairs the replication and growth of cancer cells, ultimately hindering tumor progression.

Benefits of Hydrea in Cancer Treatment

Hydrea offers numerous benefits in cancer treatment, making it an integral component of therapeutic regimens:

  • Effectiveness: Hydrea has demonstrated remarkable efficacy in inducing remission and improving survival rates in various malignancies.
  • Disease Control: By preventing the growth and spread of cancer cells, Hydrea can effectively control tumor progression and prevent metastasis.
  • Treatment Combination: Hydrea can be used in combination with other chemotherapy agents or radiation therapy to enhance treatment outcomes.
  • Sickle Cell Disease Management: Hydrea helps reduce painful crises, minimizes organ damage, and improves overall quality of life in individuals with sickle cell anemia.

Hydrea: A Reliable Option Supported by Research

Research and clinical trials affirm the therapeutic potential of Hydrea in various clinical conditions:

Condition Study/Source Key Findings
CML Clinical Cancer Research, 2018 Hydrea demonstrated significant efficacy in achieving complete hematologic and cytogenetic responses in CML patients.
Melanoma Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2020 Combination therapy involving Hydrea showed promising results in treating advanced melanoma.
Ovarian Cancer Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2018 Hydrea demonstrated significant antitumor activity in patients with recurrent ovarian cancer.
Sickle Cell Anemia British Journal of Hematology, 2010 Hydrea effectively reduced the frequency of painful crises and hospitalizations in sickle cell disease.

Considerations and Adverse Effects

While Hydrea is generally well-tolerated, it is essential to be aware of possible side effects to ensure proper usage and patient safety. Common adverse effects may include:

  • Anemia
  • Leukopenia
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Hydroxyurea-induced leg ulcers
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It is crucial to consult medical professionals for personalized guidance and monitoring during Hydrea therapy.


Hydrea, or hydroxyurea, as an indispensable medication in cancer treatment and sickle cell anemia management, presents substantial benefits supported by research and clinical trials. Its ability to impede cell growth and division makes it a reliable choice for those dealing with these conditions. By following medical advice and monitoring for potential adverse effects, patients can maximize the positive outcomes of Hydrea therapy.

5. Side Effects and Precautions of Hydrea

While Hydrea can be an effective medication for certain conditions, it is important to be aware of its potential side effects and take necessary precautions before using it. Here are some of the common side effects and precautions associated with Hydrea:

Common Side Effects:

  • Anemia: Hydrea may reduce red blood cell count, leading to anemia. Regular blood tests are recommended to monitor your blood cell count during treatment.
  • Gastrointestinal Issues: Some individuals may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation while taking Hydrea. It is advisable to inform your doctor if these symptoms persist.
  • Skin Reactions: Hydrea may cause skin-related side effects such as rash, itching, or skin darkening. It is essential to report any skin changes to your healthcare provider.
  • Mouth Sores: In some cases, Hydrea can result in the development of mouth sores. Maintaining proper oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups are recommended during treatment.
  • Hair Loss: While uncommon, hair loss has been reported as a side effect of Hydrea. This side effect is usually reversible upon discontinuation of the medication.


  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Hydrea may cause harm to the fetus or nursing infant. It is crucial to discuss the potential risks and benefits with your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Blood Disorders: Individuals with pre-existing blood disorders or bone marrow problems should exercise caution while taking Hydrea. Regular blood tests and close monitoring are essential.
  • Liver or Kidney Problems: Hydrea is primarily eliminated from the body through the kidneys and liver. People with liver or kidney impairments should use Hydrea with caution and may require dosage adjustments.
  • Infection Risk: Hydrea may reduce the body’s ability to fight infections. It is vital to take necessary precautions to avoid exposure to contagious illnesses and promptly report any signs of infection to your doctor.

It is important to note that the above lists are not exhaustive, and there may be other side effects and precautions associated with Hydrea. Always consult your healthcare provider or refer to authoritative sources, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the Mayo Clinic, for comprehensive and up-to-date information.

Studies have shown that a small percentage of individuals may experience severe side effects or adverse reactions to Hydrea. The FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) database provides valuable insights into reported side effects and can be referred to for further information. However, it is essential to consult your healthcare provider for personalized guidance and to weigh the potential risks against the benefits of using Hydrea for your specific medical condition.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not replace professional medical advice. If you have any concerns or questions about the use of Hydrea, consult with your doctor or healthcare provider.

The Use of Hydrea in Medical Conditions: Benefits and Risks

Hydrea, also known by its generic name hydroxyurea, is a medication commonly prescribed for various medical conditions. This article aims to provide detailed information about the use of Hydrea, highlighting its benefits, risks, and relevant statistical data.

1. Sickle Cell Disease

Hydrea has been extensively studied and approved by the FDA for the treatment of sickle cell disease (SCD). It helps in reducing the frequency and severity of painful crises associated with SCD. According to a study conducted by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Hydrea demonstrated a significant decrease in the number of hospitalizations and acute chest syndrome incidents, improving the quality of life for SCD patients.

2. Myeloproliferative Disorders

In patients with myeloproliferative disorders, such as chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) or polycythemia vera (PV), Hydrea plays a crucial role in controlling the abnormal overproduction of blood cells. It helps in reducing the risk of blood clots, spleen enlargement, and other complications related to these disorders. A clinical trial conducted by the National Cancer Institute showed a remarkable decrease in symptoms and improvement in overall survival rate among CML patients treated with Hydrea.

3. Essential Thrombocythemia

Essential thrombocythemia (ET) is a condition characterized by the excessive production of platelets in the bone marrow, leading to a higher risk of clotting. Hydrea has proved to be effective in reducing the platelet count and preventing the formation of blood clots. A retrospective study published in the American Journal of Hematology reported a significant reduction in the incidence of major thrombotic events in ET patients treated with Hydrea.

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4. Head and Neck Cancer

Hydrea is also utilized in the treatment of head and neck cancer, particularly in combination with radiation therapy. It acts as a radiosensitizer, enhancing the effectiveness of radiation in targeting and destroying cancer cells. The American Cancer Society recommends Hydrea as a valuable adjuvant therapy, improving treatment outcomes and overall survival rates in head and neck cancer patients.

It is important to note that the use of Hydrea should always be under the guidance and prescription of a healthcare professional. The dosage and duration of treatment may vary depending on the specific medical condition and individual patient factors.

Benefits and Risks

Like any medication, Hydrea comes with its fair share of benefits and risks. It is vital for patients and healthcare providers to be aware of these factors before initiating treatment.


  • Significant reduction in painful crises and hospitalizations in sickle cell disease patients
  • Control of abnormal blood cell production in myeloproliferative disorders
  • Decreased risk of blood clots and related complications in essential thrombocythemia
  • Enhanced effectiveness of radiation therapy in head and neck cancer treatment


While Hydrea offers numerous benefits, it is crucial to consider potential risks and side effects:

  • Possible bone marrow suppression leading to low blood cell counts
  • Risk of developing secondary malignancies with long-term use
  • Potential fetal harm for pregnant individuals
  • Potential for transient liver function abnormalities

It is essential to weigh the potential benefits against the risks and consider individual patient factors when prescribing Hydrea.


Hydrea, or hydroxyurea, is a versatile medication used in the treatment of various medical conditions. Its proven benefits include reducing painful crises in sickle cell disease, controlling abnormal blood cell production, preventing blood clots, and enhancing the effectiveness of radiation therapy in head and neck cancer. However, healthcare providers and patients must consider the potential risks associated with Hydrea. Consulting with a healthcare professional and making informed decisions based on individual circumstances is crucial for optimal treatment outcomes.

7. Dosage and Administration

Before taking Hydrea (hydroxyurea), it is essential to consult a healthcare professional who will provide you with the correct dosage instructions based on your medical condition and response to treatment. It is crucial to strictly follow the prescribed dosage and never adjust it without medical advice.

The dosage of Hydrea may vary depending on the type of condition being treated and individual factors. Generally, the recommended dose for adults with certain types of cancers or sickle cell anemia ranges from 20 to 30 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day. The dose may be divided into several smaller doses taken throughout the day. Dosage adjustment may be required based on your body’s response to the medication and any side effects experienced.

Hydrea is usually taken orally, with or without food. It is important not to crush, chew, or open the capsules to avoid the risk of exposure to the medication. The capsule should be swallowed whole with a full glass of water. If you have difficulty swallowing capsules, your healthcare provider may provide alternative options, such as a liquid formulation, to ensure proper administration.

During treatment with Hydrea, regular blood tests and monitoring by your healthcare provider are essential to evaluate the medication’s effectiveness and detect any potential adverse effects. It is crucial to attend all scheduled follow-up appointments and inform your doctor about any changes in your health or the occurrence of side effects.

As with any medication, Hydrea may cause side effects. Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, constipation, and skin rash. However, it is important to remember that not everyone experiences these side effects, and individual reactions may vary. If you develop any unusual or severe side effects, it is essential to contact your doctor immediately.

It is crucial to note that Hydrea may lead to a decrease in your body’s ability to fight infections or heal wounds. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid contact with people who have contagious illnesses and take extra precautions to prevent infections. Your healthcare provider will provide you with detailed guidance on how to minimize the risk of infections while on Hydrea treatment.

Moreover, Hydrea may have potentially harmful effects on unborn babies. Therefore, it is important to inform your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding before starting treatment. Your healthcare provider will assess the potential risks and benefits and guide you accordingly.

In conclusion, Hydrea is a medication with specific dosage and administration guidelines tailored to individual patients. Following the prescribed dosage and instructions provided by your healthcare provider is crucial to ensure the safe and effective use of Hydrea during your treatment journey.

Category: Cancer

Tags: Hydrea, Hydroxyurea

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