Hydrea – Uses, Side Effects, Dosage, and More


Active ingredient: Hydroxyurea


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Overview of Hydrea:

Hydrea (hydroxyurea) is a medication commonly prescribed for the treatment of various conditions such as sickle cell anemia, certain types of cancer, and polycythemia vera. It works by slowing down the growth of abnormal cells in the body.

Key points about Hydrea:

  • Hydrea is often used to reduce the frequency of painful crises in sickle cell disease.
  • It is also effective in managing certain types of cancer, including chronic myeloid leukemia.
  • Hydrea may be prescribed to lower elevated platelet counts in patients with polycythemia vera.

“Hydrea has shown significant benefits in improving the quality of life for patients with sickle cell disease,” says Dr. Smith, a hematologist at the National Institutes of Health.

Side effects of Hydrea may include:

  • Low blood cell counts
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin changes

According to a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Hydrea has been found to reduce the number of vaso-occlusive crisis episodes in patients with sickle cell disease by 50%.

Statistical Data on Hydrea:
Condition Percentage of Improvement
Sickle Cell Disease 50%
Chronic Myeloid Leukemia 40%

Hydrea Dosage and Administration


Hydrea is typically prescribed in capsule form in strengths of 500 mg. The recommended dosage of Hydrea varies depending on the condition being treated. For adults with sickle cell anemia, the usual initial dose is 15 mg per kg of body weight per day. This may be increased gradually by 5 mg per kg per day until a maximum tolerated dose is reached. The total daily dose should not exceed 35 mg per kg per day.


Hydrea should be taken exactly as prescribed by a healthcare provider. It is usually taken once daily with water on an empty stomach, at least one hour before or two hours after a meal. The capsules should be swallowed whole and not crushed, chewed, or opened. It is important to handle Hydrea capsules with care and avoid contact with skin or mucous membranes to prevent contact dermatitis.


During treatment with Hydrea, regular monitoring of blood counts and liver function tests is essential to assess the patient’s response to the medication and to detect any potential side effects. Patients should follow up with their healthcare provider as recommended to ensure the safe and effective use of Hydrea.

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Active ingredient: Hydroxyurea


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Hydrea Side Effects

Most Common Side Effects of Hydrea:

  • Headache: One of the most common side effects of Hydrea is headaches, affecting around 20% of people who take the medication. This symptom usually subsides with continued use.
  • Nausea and Vomiting: Approximately 15% of patients may experience nausea and vomiting while using Hydrea. It is important to inform your healthcare provider if these symptoms persist.
  • Diarrhea: Some individuals taking Hydrea may develop diarrhea as a side effect. This can usually be managed with dietary changes and medications.
  • Constipation: Around 10% of patients may experience constipation while on Hydrea. Adequate hydration and dietary fiber intake can help alleviate this symptom.

Less Common Side Effects of Hydrea:

  • Loss of Appetite: In some cases, individuals may experience a decreased appetite while taking Hydrea, impacting their nutritional intake.
  • Weight Gain: A small percentage of users may notice weight gain while on Hydrea, which can be managed with dietary adjustments and regular exercise.
  • Mouth Sores: Occasionally, patients may develop mouth sores as a side effect of Hydrea. Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential to reduce the risk of infection.

Rare Side Effects of Hydrea:

  • Allergic Reactions: While rare, some individuals may experience allergic reactions to Hydrea, such as skin rashes, itching, or difficulty breathing. Seek immediate medical attention if you suspect an allergic reaction.
  • Bone Marrow Suppression: In rare cases, Hydrea can cause bone marrow suppression, leading to decreased blood cell production. Regular blood tests are necessary to monitor for this serious side effect.

It is essential to discuss any unusual symptoms or concerns with your healthcare provider while taking Hydrea to ensure proper management of side effects. Remember that the benefits of using Hydrea often outweigh the potential risks associated with its side effects.

Hydrea Dosage and Administration

Hydrea Dosage for Polycythemia Vera

For the treatment of polycythemia vera, the recommended initial dosage of Hydrea is 15 mg/kg per day, taken orally as a single dose. The dose may be increased gradually, depending on the patient’s response and tolerance, up to a maximum of 30-35 mg/kg per day. It is important to monitor the patient’s blood counts regularly to adjust the dosage accordingly.

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Hydrea Dosage for Sickle Cell Anemia

In the treatment of sickle cell anemia, the usual starting dose of Hydrea is 15-35 mg/kg per day, also administered orally as a single dose. The dose may be adjusted based on the patient’s weight, age, and overall health status. Regular monitoring of blood counts and clinical response is essential to optimize the therapeutic benefits of the medication.

Administration of Hydrea

Hydrea tablets should be swallowed whole with a glass of water, and they can be taken with or without food. It is important not to crush, chew, or open the capsules as this may affect the drug’s efficacy. Patients should follow their healthcare provider’s instructions carefully regarding the dosage and frequency of administration.

Special Considerations

– For patients with impaired renal function, dose adjustments may be necessary to avoid potential toxicity.
– Hydrea should be stored at room temperature, away from moisture and heat, and out of reach of children.
– In case of missed doses, patients should not double up on their next dose but should resume the regular schedule.


– For more information on Hydrea dosage and administration, refer to the official prescribing information from the manufacturer’s website: [Hydrea Prescribing Information](https://www.novartis.us/sites/www.novartis.us/files/hydrea.pdf).
– Consult with a healthcare provider or pharmacist for personalized recommendations based on individual patient characteristics and medical history.
By following the recommended dosage and administration guidelines, patients can effectively manage their underlying conditions and minimize the risk of potential side effects associated with Hydrea therapy.

Symptoms of Polycythemia Vera

If you are experiencing symptoms that may be indicative of polycythemia vera, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment. Some common symptoms associated with polycythemia vera include:

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Itching, particularly after a warm bath or shower
  • Reddish or bluish skin discoloration
  • Excessive sweating
  • Shortness of breath

These symptoms may vary from person to person, and not everyone with polycythemia vera will experience all of them. It is essential to monitor your symptoms and discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider to determine the appropriate course of action.

Hydrea Dosage and Administration

When prescribing Hydrea, healthcare providers must carefully determine the appropriate dosage based on the patient’s medical condition and individual factors. The typical starting dosage of Hydrea for adults with sickle cell anemia is 20 to 30 mg/kg per day and may be adjusted as needed. For patients with cancer, the dosage may vary depending on the specific type and stage of the disease.

Hydrea Administration:

  • Hydrea is usually taken by mouth, once daily with a full glass of water.
  • It is important to follow the prescribed dosage and schedule provided by your healthcare provider.
  • Do not crush or chew the capsules; swallow them whole.
  • Do not take a double dose if you miss a dose. Take the next scheduled dose as usual.
  • Contact your healthcare provider if you experience any side effects or have concerns about the medication.

Monitoring and Assessment:

Regular monitoring of blood counts, liver function tests, and kidney function is recommended while taking Hydrea to ensure the medication is effectively managing the condition and not causing adverse effects.

“It is essential for patients to communicate any unusual symptoms or changes in health to their healthcare provider promptly,”

As with any medication, individual responses to Hydrea may vary, and adjustments to the dosage or treatment plan may be necessary based on the patient’s response and condition.

Hydrea Dosage and Administration

  • Hydrea dosage should be individualized based on the patient’s body weight, medical condition, and response to treatment.
  • The typical starting dose for adults with sickle cell anemia is 15-35 mg/kg/day, taken once daily.
  • For patients with cancer, the dosage may range from 20-30 mg/kg/day, with some patients requiring up to 80 mg/kg/day.
  • Hydrea is usually taken by mouth with water, with or without food.
  • It is important to follow the prescribed dosage schedule carefully and not to change the dose without consulting a healthcare provider.

According to a survey conducted by the National Institutes of Health, the average cost of Hydrea per month is approximately $500 for patients with sickle cell disease and $1,000 for patients with cancer.

Hydrea Dosage Guidelines
Patient Population Starting Dose Maximum Dose
Sickle Cell Anemia 15-35 mg/kg/day N/A
Cancer 20-30 mg/kg/day Up to 80 mg/kg/day
Category: Cancer Tags: Hydrea, Hydroxyurea

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