Hydrea (Hydroxyurea) Medication


Hydrea (Hydroxyurea)

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Drug Description


Hydrea is a prescription medicine indicated for the treatment of resistant chronic myeloid leukemia, a form of cancer affecting white blood cells. 

Hydrea is also used to treat locally advanced squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck (excluding the lip), in combination with chemoradiation. 

As an antimetabolite medication, Hydrea functions by impeding or halting the proliferation of cancerous cells within the body, thereby serving as an effective treatment for cancer. 

Uses and Dosage 

Before starting treatment with Hydrea and every time you get a refill, carefully review its patient information leaflet and medication guide. Seek guidance from a physician or pharmacist for any concerns or inquiries. 

The dosage of Hydrea is individualized based on several factors, including tumor type, disease state, response to treatment, patient weight, risk factors, and current clinical practice standards. 

Hydrea is usually administered once a day or as per the doctor’s instructions, regardless of food intake. The capsules should be swallowed whole and must not be opened, broken, or chewed. 

Adhere strictly to the prescribed dosage of Hydrea. Avoid increasing the dose or frequency of use beyond the prescription, as it will not enhance the speed of recovery and may raise the possibility of severe side effects. 

To optimize outcomes, adhere to a consistent daily regimen for Hydrea administration, ideally at a fixed time each day. Ceasing treatment should not be undertaken without explicit clearance from your healthcare provider. 

Side Effects 

Potential side effects associated with the use of Hydrea are listed below. If any of them persists or worsens, inform your physician or pharmacist promptly. 

Common Side Effects 

  • Decreased appetite and nausea 
  • Constipation or diarrhea 
  • Reduced levels of blood cells 
  • Bleeding 
  • Development of oral ulcers 

Serious Side Effects 

  • Hand or feet numbness, tingling, or burning pain 
  • Skin discoloration or numbness 
  • Skin ulcers or open sores 
  • Abrupt onset of discomfort in the chest, difficulty breathing accompanied by a whistling sound, a parched cough, and a feeling of breathlessness. 
  • Signs of low blood cell counts: 
    • Fever 
    • Chills 
    • Tiredness 
    • Mouth sores 
    • Easy bruising 
    • Unusual bleeding 
    • Pale skin 
    • Cold hands and feet 
    • Light-headedness 
  • Signs of liver or pancreas problems: 
    • Loss of appetite 
    • Upper stomach pain (may spread to back) 
    • Nausea/vomiting 
    • Fast heart rate 
    • Dark urine 
    • Yellowing of skin or eyes (jaundice) 

Call your doctor at once if you experience any of the serious side effects mentioned above. 

Allergic Reactions 

While it is uncommon, a severe allergic reaction to Hydrea can occur. Get medical assistance immediately if you experience symptoms such as: 

  • Rash 
  • Swelling or itching, especially in the areas of the face, tongue, or throat 
  • Severe dizziness 
  • Difficulty breathing 

The side effects of Hydrea listed here are incomplete. If any unmentioned side effects occur and cause discomfort, inform your physician promptly. 


Before taking Hydrea, inform your physician or pharmacist if you have any known hypersensitivities, especially to hydroxyurea or any other medications. 

Consult your pharmacist to obtain more information as this medication may contain inactive ingredients that could cause allergic reactions or other complications. 

To determine whether Hydrea is safe for you, disclose your medical history to your doctor, particularly of:  

  • Kidney disease 
  • Liver disease 
  • Blood/bone marrow disorders, including bone marrow suppression, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, or anemia 
  • HIV infection 
  • Elevated uric acid in the blood 
  • If you received a radiation treatment 

Some products, such as didanosine and stavudine, may interact with Hydrea. To avoid potential drug interactions, inform your doctor and pharmacist about all the medications you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription drugs, as well as any vitamins, supplements, or herbal products. 

Notify all medical professionals and the laboratory personnel that you are taking Hydrea before any laboratory tests as it can interfere with certain tests and produce false results. 

Hydrea can increase the risk of infections or exacerbate existing ones. Refrain from close contact with individuals carrying infectious diseases that may transmit to others, like chickenpox, measles, or the flu.  

Inform your healthcare provider of Hydrea use before receiving any vaccinations. Stay away from individuals who have recently undergone live vaccinations, such as the flu vaccine administered through the nose.  

The use of Hydrea may increase the risk of developing other types of cancer such as leukemia or skin cancer. Protective measures such as wearing protective clothing and using sunscreen are recommended when outdoors. 

Due to the potential for absorption through the skin and lungs, women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should refrain from handling Hydrea medication or inhaling the dust emanating from the capsules. 

The use of disposable gloves is recommended before handling this medication and its container. Washing hands before and after handling Hydrea or its container is also necessary. 

In case of powder spills from the capsule, immediately clean it up with a wet paper towel and dispose of it in a sealed container like a plastic bag. Clean the spill area promptly with soap and water, avoiding inhalation of capsule powder. 

Pregnant women should not take Hydrea as it may be harmful to a developing fetus. Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant while taking this medication. 

Women of childbearing age should use reliable contraception during and after Hydrea treatment for a minimum of 6 months. While men of reproductive age should use effective contraception during and after Hydrea treatment for at least 1 year. 

Hydroxyurea is excreted in breast milk and may cause adverse effects on a nursing infant. Breastfeeding during drug use is not advised. Prior to breastfeeding, consult your doctor. 

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Quality Prescription Drugs has provided information from third parties intended to increase awareness and does not contain all the information about Hydrea (Hydroxyurea). Talk to your doctor or a qualified medical practitioner for medical attention, advice, or if you have any concerns about Hydrea (Hydroxyurea).