Hydroxyurea is a prescription medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat chronic myeloid leukemia as well as specific types of squamous cell carcinomas in combination with concurrent chemoradiation. Hydroxyurea is also used to treat chronic myelomonocytic leukemia. Hydroxyurea may be prescribed as part of a chemotherapy regimen to treat leukemia.
Hydroxyurea is an anticancer drug used in chemotherapy. Hydroxyurea is a member of a class of drugs called antimetabolites. Hydroxyurea is believed to work by interfering with DNA synthesis in replicating cells.
How do I take it?
Hydroxyurea is taken orally. Dosage schedules vary by case.
Hydroxyurea is available in capsule form.
The FDA-approved label for hydroxyurea lists common side effects including headache, dizziness, drowsiness, flu-like symptoms, hair loss, weight gain, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, upset stomach, and skin rash or discoloration,
Rare but serious side effects listed for hydroxyurea include respiratory distress, increased risk for developing another type of leukemia later, compromised male fertility, and fetal harm in pregnant women. Hydroxyurea can also cause tumor lysis syndrome — a potentially fatal metabolic condition caused when many cancer cells die at the same time. You should avoid live vaccines while taking hydroxyurea, due to increased risk for severe infection.
For more details about this treatment, visit:
Hydroxyurea — RxList
CML: Lowering High White Blood Cell Counts — Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
CMML: Chemotherapy and Drug Therapy — Leukemia & Lymphoma Society