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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Quick Drug Information (DrugNotes) > Hydroxyurea (Oral)

Hydroxyurea (By Mouth)

Hydroxyurea (hye-drox-ee-yoor-EE-a)

Treats certain types of cancer, including leukemia and skin or ovarian cancer. Also treats symptoms of sickle cell anemia.

Brand Name(s):

Hydrea, Droxia, Mylocel
There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to hydroxyurea, or if you are pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine:

Capsule, Tablet

  • Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to take and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • Be careful not to open or break the capsule so the powder medicine does not spill out. If you spill some of the powder, wipe it up right away with a damp paper towel. Seal the paper towel in a container (such as a ziplock bag). Throw the paper towel and container away where children or pets cannot get to them.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to take your medicine, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose.
  • Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine at room temperature in a closed container, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using medicines to treat HIV/AIDS (such as Crixivan®, Invirase®, Norvir®, Sustiva®, Videx®, Viracept®, Zerit®), or if you have ever been treated with radiation or cancer drugs.
  • Talk to your doctor before getting flu shots or other vaccines while you are receiving hydroxyurea.
Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • This medicine can cause birth defects if it is used by the mother while she is pregnant or by the father when his sexual partner becomes pregnant. If a pregnancy occurs while you are using this medicine, tell your doctor right away.
  • Use two forms of birth control to avoid pregnancy while you are using this medicine and for at least 6 months after your treatment ends. This is very important whether you are a man or a woman.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have anemia, gout, kidney disease, liver disease, HIV or AIDS, or other conditions that could weaken your immune system.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
  • This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers. Your doctor may have you stop using this medicine for a short time to give your blood cells time to recover.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Fever, chills, sore throat, mouth sores
  • Numbness, tingling, burning, or pain in your hands or feet
  • Skin rash or sores
  • Sudden and severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, lightheadedness
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding, black, tarry stools
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Yellow skin or eyes, dark-colored urine or pale stools, pain in the upper stomach

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Loss of appetite, diarrhea, constipation
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.

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