Should You Take Hydroxyurea?

A woman holding a pill and a glass of waterAll individuals with or who have a loved one affected by sickle cell disease should be aware of a medication called hydroxyurea.

What makes this medication so special? This is the only FDA-approved medication for the treatment of sickle cell disease.

Hydroxyurea is a medication that can be taken by mouth daily to prevent and minimize a lot of the complications associated with sickle cell anemia. Research studies have shown hydroxyurea has many beneficial effects such as decrease in pain episodes, decrease the need for blood transfusions, decrease the life-threatening complication called acute chest syndrome and even show mortality benefit in those who consistently took this medication.

Hydroxyurea does require blood test monitoring and that you regularly follow with your doctor. This medication is used in children and adults. However, if you are trying to have children, you should not conceive while taking hydroxyurea.

It is worth having the discussion with your doctor to see if this medication is appropriate for you as well as to discuss any possible side effects.