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Side Effects Of Hydroxyurea

Side Effects Of Hydroxyurea

Why is this medication prescribed?

Hydroxyurea (Hydrea) is used alone or with other medications or radiation therapy to treat a certain type of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML; a type of cancer of the white blood cells) and certain types of head and neck cancer (including cancer of the mouth, cheek, tongue, throat, tonsils, and sinuses). Hydroxyurea (Droxia, Siklos) is used to reduce the frequency of painful crises and reduce the need for blood transfusions in adults and children 2 years of age and older with sickle cell anemia (an inherited blood disorder in which the red blood cells are abnormally shaped [shaped like a sickle] and cannot bring enough oxygen to all parts of the body). Hydroxyurea is in a class of medications called antimetabolites. Hydroxyurea treats cancer by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells in your body. Hydroxyurea treats sickle cell anemia by helping to prevent formation of sickle-shaped red blood cells.

How should this medicine be used?

Hydroxyurea comes as a capsule and tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with a glass of water. When hydroxyurea is used to treat certain types of cancer, it may be taken once every third day. Take hydroxyurea at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take hydroxyurea exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

What is hydroxyurea-oral, 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.

Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

  • More common
  • Cough or hoarseness
  • fever or chills
  • lower back or side pain
  • painful or difficult urination

Less common

  • Black, tarry stools
  • blackening of the fingernails and toenails
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • sores in the mouth and on the lips
  • unusual bleeding or bruising

Rare

  • Confusion
  • convulsions (seizures)
  • difficulty with urination
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • joint pain
  • seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • swelling of the feet or lower legs

Incidence not known

  • Bleeding under the skin
  • blisters on the skin
  • bluish or pale color on the skin of the fingers or toes
  • coldness of the fingers or toes
  • crater-like lesions on the skin
  • itching skin
  • numbness or tingling of the fingers or toes
  • pain in the fingers or toes
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • weight loss

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • upset stomach,
  • diarrhea,
  • constipation,
  • skin changes such as peeling or discoloration,
  • flu-like symptoms,
  • hair loss,
  • rash,
  • headache,
  • dizziness,
  • drowsiness, or
  • weight gain.
  • bleeding;
  • loss of appetite, upset stomach, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting;
  • skin peeling or itching, mild rash;
  • hair loss, darkening of your nails;
  • headache, dizziness; or.
  • swelling in your hands or feet.

Precautions

Before taking hydroxyurea, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Interactions

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.

Some products that may interact with this drug include: didanosine, nalidixic acid, stavudine.

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.

Storage

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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