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patient education

A Guide to Hydroxycarbamide (Hydroxyurea)

key information

source: Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

year: 2020


Hydroxycarbamide is a medicine in a capsule that you take by mouth. It causes changes in the blood to reduce the frequency of sickle cell crises and the need for blood transfusions in patients with sickle cell disease. It is also sometimes known as hydroxyurea.

Who Is Hydroxycarbamide Recommended for?

Hydroxycarbamide is often recommended if one or more of the following things apply to you.

• You have moderately severe or severe sickle cell disease.
• You have had three or more acute hospital admissions for sickle cell crises in the last 12 months.
• You have experienced acute sickle chest syndrome and needed a blood transfusion or admission to the high dependency unit.
• You have had a stroke and are no longer tolerating an exchange blood transfusion program.
• You have any other complications related to sickle cell disease.

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