Education Series: Hydroxyurea Recap
Dr. Bender spoke about Hydroxyurea. Hydroxyurea is a drug used for more than 20 years to reduce the likely hood of Sickle Cell pain crisis. Hydroxyurea is recommended by Dr. Bender and the Metropolitan Sickle Cell Task Force.
Dr. Bender talked about the mechanism of action of Hydroxyurea which is the ability to increase fetal hemoglobin. A 2006 study by Balles and Barton cited that Hydroxyurea reduced sickle cell crisis by 50% in people with moderate to severe sickle cell disease.
Hydroxyurea is the only drug prescribed for the treatment of sickle cell.
I personally have been on Hydroxyurea since I was involved in the clinical trial. I have had few side effects and my general health has improved dramatically. When I first began taking Hydroxyurea I was constantly tired, had very little energy.
The effects of Hydroxyurea for me were not immediate. After working with my hematologist on getting the correct dose it took several months for me to feel any positive effect.
After several months of observing my blood work my fetal hemoglobin began to increase. I started to have more energy, my stamina improved and I could begin limited work outs which included walking and lifting weights.
Hydroxyurea is an underutilized drug that is safe, can reduce the number of sickle cell crisis and improves the quality of life for many people with sickle cell disease. If you have SS and are not taking Hydroxyurea contact your hematologist and talk about if Hydroxyurea can help you.
By: Ken West