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Hydroxyurea Dosage

hydroxyurea dosage


Used for resistant chronic myeloid leukemia, locally advanced squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck (excluding lip) in combination with concurrent chemoradiation, and to reduce the frequency of painful crises and the need for blood transfusions in patients with sickle cell anemia with recurrent moderate to severe painful crises.Hydroxyurea may cause severe myelosuppression; monitor blood counts at baseline and during treatment.

What is hydroxyurea dosage  and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Hydroxyurea (Hydrea) is an oral medication used to treat several types of cancers including chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), head and neck cancer, malignant melanoma, ovarian cancer, and polycythemia vera (a disorder of the bone marrow). The exact mechanism by which hydroxyurea works to treat cancer is not understood. However, it is thought that hydroxyurea causes an immediate inhibition of DNA synthesis by inhibiting an enzyme called ribonucleotide reductase. Interrupting DNA synthesis reduces the growth of cancer cells.

How to take hydroxyurea

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

Pregnancy and Hydroxyurea

Hydroxyurea can harm an unborn baby. Don't become pregnant while taking this medicine.

Both men and women should use an effective form of birth control while taking hydroxyurea.

The drug may also affect a woman's ability to become pregnant and a man's ability to father a child. Talk to your doctor if this is a concern.

Since hydroxyurea can be absorbed through the skin and lungs, pregnant women, and those who may become pregnant, shouldn't handle the drug or breathe in the dust from the capsules.

Hydroxyurea Side Effects

  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation
  • Weight gain
  • Sores in the mouth or throat
  • Pale skin
  • Rash
  • Mild dizziness
  • Headache
  • Hair loss
  • Darkening of the skin or nails

What is the dosage for hydroxyurea-oral?

For treating cancer: Dose should be titrated based on individual patient response. Capsules should be swallowed whole. Hydroxyurea capsules should be handled with extreme care and disposed of properly because it causes cell damage.

Hydroxyurea Overdose

Symptoms of a hydroxyurea overdose may include:

Pain, redness, swelling, or scaling on the hands and feet

Sores in the mouth and throat

Darkening of the skin

If you suspect an overdose, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately.

You can get in touch with a poison control center at 800-222-1222.

Missed Dose of Hydroxyurea

If you miss a dose of hydroxyurea, take it as soon as you remember.

But skip the missed dose if it's almost time for your next scheduled dose.

Don't take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.


Hydroxyurea contains a black-box warning because it can cause a severe drop in the number of blood cells in your bone marrow. This can increase your risk of a serious infection or bleeding.

Tell your doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms while taking hydroxyurea:

Fever, sore throat, cough, congestion, or other signs of infection

Unusual bruising or bleeding

Vomit that's bloody or looks like coffee grounds

Bloody or black, tarry stools

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