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Indian J Hematol Blood Transfus. 2014 Jun;30(2):91-6. doi: 10.1007/s12288-013-0261-4. Epub 2013 May 24.

Hydroxyurea in sickle cell disease: drug review.

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Dhiraj General Hospital, D-7, Staff Quarters, Pipariya, Vadodara, Gujarat India.


Hydroxyurea, a myelosuppressive agent, is the only effective drug proven to reduce the frequency of painful episodes. It raises the level of HbF and the haemoglobin level. It usually decreases the rate of painful episodes by 50 %. It was first tested in sickle cell disease in 1984. It also decreases the rate of ACS episodes and blood transfusions by ~50 % in adults. It was developed as an anticancer drug and has been used to treat myeloproliferative syndromes-leukemia, melanoma, and ovarian cancer. It was approved for use by FDA in adults. Side effects includes neutropenia, bone marrow suppression, elevation of hepatic enzymes, anorexia, nausea, vomiting and infertility.


HbF level; Hydroxyurea; Neutropenia

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