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Hydroxyurea for Sickle Cell Disease

key information

source: American Society of Hematology


Hydroxyurea is a medicine that doctors have used to treat people with sickle cell disease since the 1980s. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it for treating adults with sickle cell disease in 1998. In 2017, the FDA approved it to treat children with sickle cell disease. Hydroxyurea is also used to treat cancer. But doctors use a lower dose (amount) to treat sickle cell disease than to treat cancer.

How Can Hydroxyurea Help With Sickle Cell Disease?

Hydroxyurea reduces the problems that sickle cell disease causes. People with sickle cell disease who take hydroxyurea have fewer:

• Pain crises
• Episodes of acute chest syndrome
• Blood transfusions
• Hospital stays

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