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Hydroxyurea Definition

hydroxyurea definition

Hydroxyurea: A drug that inhibits the synthesis of DNA and so is classified as an antimetabolite. Hydroxyurea is used to treat a number of diseases, including chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), polycythemia vera, carcinoma of the head and neck, ovary, and cervix, melanoma, and sickle cell disease.


Essential thrombocythemia (ET) is one of several“myeloproliferative neoplasms” (MPNs), a group of closelyrelated blood cancers that share several features, notably the“clonal” overproduction of one or more blood cell lines.All clonal disorders begin with one or more changes(mutations) to the DNA in a single cell; the altered cells inthe marrow and the blood are the offspring of that onemutant cell. Other MPNs include polycythemia vera andmyelofibrosis.

What are the types of melanoma?

The main types of melanoma are as follows:

Superficial spreading melanoma: This type accounts for about 70% of all cases of melanoma. The most common locations are the legs of women and the backs of men, and they occur most commonly between the ages of 30-50.

Nodular melanoma:

About 20% of melanomas are deeper, blue-black to purplish lumps. They may evolve faster and may also be more likely to spread. Untreated superficial spreading melanomas may become nodular and invasive.

Lentigo maligna:

Unlike other forms of melanoma, lentigo maligna tends to occur on places like the face, which are exposed to the sun constantly rather than intermittently. Lentigo maligna looks like a large, irregularly shaped or colored freckle and develops slowly. It may take many years to evolve into a more dangerous melanoma or may never become a more invasive form.

What Hydroxyurea Is Used For:

  • Chronic myeloid leukemia
  • Essential thrombocytosis and polycythemia vera
  • Head and neck cancer (used with radiation therapy)
  • Melanoma

Refractory ovarian cancer (ovarian cancer that has not responded or progressed after standard therapy).

How Hydroxyurea Is Given:

  • Hydroxyurea is a pill, taken by mouth.
  • Take Hydroxyurea exactly as prescribed.
  • Hydroxyurea may be dissolved in water.

The amount of Hydroxyurea that you will receive depends on many factors, including your height and weight, your general health or other health problems, and the type of cancer or condition being treated.  Your doctor will determine your dose and schedule.


Use cautiously in:

• renal or hepatic impairment

• obese patients

• females of childbearing age

• elderly patients.


Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.


If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose include: swelling/scaling of hands and feet.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip themissed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.


Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.Information last revised June 2018. Copyright(c) 2018 First Databank, Inc.

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