Hydroxyurea is a drug that is used for the management cancer of the white blood cells which is referred to as chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). It is also administered together with radiations treatment for both the head and neck cancers which is referred to as advanced squamous cell cancer.
The main mechanism of action of the drug is by the interference with the growth of the cancer cells which eventually get destroyed by the body. It is the best drug that is used by adult patients with sickle cell anemia in the prevention of pain and in the reduction of the need to get a blood transfusion.
This also helps in making the red blood cells more flexible. The medicine is given after a doctor’s prescription. It is also available in a number of dosage forms for administration.
2 What to Know Before Using
Before a medicine is used, a decision on the risk of taking the medicine to the potential benefit of the medicine needs to be weighed. This decision is arrived by both you and your medical doctor. In administration of this medicine, inform your doctor on whether have suffered previously from any form of allergies, to food, dyes, preservatives or animals and their products. In case of non-prescription products, ensure that the label or package over the entire duration of treatment.
Studies on children are yet to be done on the pediatric population. There are also no safety and efficacy studies on the children. Studies on the elderly have also not demonstrated the geriatric specific problems that can limit the usefulness for Hydroxyurea. However, it is known that they may likely develop age related kidney and liver problems and will require that it is used with adequate caution.
The dose used may be adjusted to avoid the toxic effects on the body organs. When used in cases of pregnancies, it has indicated the risk to the fetus. Use of Hydroxyurea is life threatening and may lead to formation of a disease.
Very few studies have been done on the infant risk to breastfeeding from women receiving a dose of Hydroxyurea. The potential benefits to the risks need to be weighed before using this medicine while breastfeeding.
Drug interactions may occur when used together with other medicines while in other cases, different medicines may be used even with the possibility of an interaction. However, your doctor may want to change the dose administered, or take other forms of precautions. In addition, inform your medical doctor of the new medicines that you are talking.
Most of the interactions are selected on the basis of their potential significance and not all-inclusiveness. Use of these medicines with Hydroxyurea is not recommended. Your personal doctor may decide on how best to treat you with this medication or even change some of the medicines that you consume.
These medicines include a Rotavirus vaccine. The use of this medicine is not recommended. However, it may be required for use with other forms of treatments. When both of these medicines are prescribed together, the doctor may decide to change some of the doses or the frequency of how these medicines may be used, or even both of the medicines.
Other drug interactions may occur and this drug are not supposed to be used around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since this may induce a form of drug interactions. It is also not allowed for a person to use certain medicines that may further cause interactions to occur. Consult your medical doctor on the use of medicines with food, alcohol, and tobacco.
In case of other medical problems, report them to your medical doctor. This may be conditions such as:
The presence of a kidney disease may also make this condition worse. This may be as a result of the slow removal of the medicine from the body. Hence, this drug needs to be used with caution.
3 Proper Usage
This medicine is only to be used as directed by the doctor. Never use more or less of the medicine as prescribed by the doctor. The medicine also comes with the insert information. Read the instruction carefully and ask any questions that requires the attention of your doctor.
Sometimes, the doctor will want your child to use folic acid with this medicine. It is also recommended that Hydroxyurea needs to be handled with cares, it should not be handled by the people not using the medicine.
Use disposable gloves are possible when using this medicine to handle the bottle or capsules. Wash your hands with soap or water before and after getting in contact with this medicines bottle or capsules. Never open the capsules, and avoid exposure and use to crushed or opened capsules.
In case of getting in touch with an opened or crushed capsule, wash your skin right away with soap and water. In case it gets into your eyes, rinse your eyes with water or isotonic eyewash for about 15 minutes.
Whenever the powder from the capsule gets spilled, wipe it out right out with a damp disposable towel. Always keep the towel and empty capsule in a closed container, such as a plastic bag. In case of spilling, clean the place where the powder got spilled with a detergent solution three times followed by clean water.
The dose of medicine is always different for different patients. Always stick to the orders and directions of the doctor. The information provided here is only an average dose of this medicine. However, when your dose is different, never change it unless instructed by your doctor.
The amount of medicine consumed depends on the strength of the medicines, number of doses to be consumed every day and allowed duration between the doses and finally, the length of time within which the medicines are to be used for managing the medical problem it is meant for use.
Capsules are used for oral dosage for management of cancer of the head and neck. In adults, the dose to be used is based on the body weight and must be determined by your medical doctor. A dose of about 15 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) is used as a single dose. The doctor may adjust the dose as required.
As for children, the does is also determined by the medical doctor. In the treatment of children with chronic myelocytic leukemia (CML). Adult’s dose is determined by the body weight of the patient. A dose of 15 mg/kg of the body weight per day used as a single dose. The doctor must also be the one to adjust the dose as required. These doses cannot be administered at more than 35 mg/kg body weight per day. As for the children, the dose will be determined by your doctor.
Missed doses must be consumed as soon as a possible. But when almost time for the next dose, skip the dose and go back to the regular dosing schedule. Never double the doses of this medicine.
The medicine also needs to be stored in a closed container and at room temperature, and away from any source of heat, moisture and direct light. Always keep it away from freezing. Store them away from the reach of children. Never store outdated medicine and the medicine that is not needed must be stored away from reach of children and disposed appropriately. Consult your medical doctor for ways of disposing the medicine.
4 Precautions to Take
Regular medical check-ups are very important during the medical visits to ensure that the medicines are working as required. During the visits, blood tests may be performed as may be needed to check for unwanted effects of the medicine. This medicine should not be used in pregnant women since they can harm your unborn baby.
It is recommended that women need to use a proper and effective form of birth control during the treatment for a period of not less than 30 days after the last dose. In addition, men need to use an effective form of birth control during the treatment and for at least 1 year after the last dose for preventing pregnancy during sexual intercourse. In case of pregnancy when using medicine, inform your doctor immediately.
Hydroxyurea is known to temporarily reduce the number of white blood cells in your blood. This can increase the chance of getting an infection as a result of lowered immune system. It has also been shown to lower the number of platelets which is responsible for the regulation of the blood clotting process.
However, precautions need to be considered when using this medicine and your blood count is low so as to lower the risk of developing infections or bleedings. When using these medicines, it is advisable to avoid people with infections if you can avoid. In case you suspect an infection, check with your medical doctor. In case with fever, or chills, cough, and hoarseness, lowers back or side pain or a challenge in urination. In case of unusual bleeding, inform your doctor immediately.
Also check for black, tarry stools, blood in urine, stools, pinpoint red spots on your skin. Always take caution when using just an ordinary form of a toothbrush, dental floss, and or toothpicks. It may be recommended that other better ways are applied in cleaning your teeth and gums by your doctor.
Always check with your medical doctor before going for dental work to be done. Never touch your eyes or inside of your nose unless hands have been washed or when you have not touched anything else. Caution must be taken not cut you with sharp objects such as safety razor or fingernail or toes nail cutters.
Avoid sports that allow contact, bruising or injury. Long term use of this medicine may increase the risk of developing Leukemia (cancer of the blood) or skin. If possible, use sunscreen and protective clothing that can be used to protect your skin. In case of risks, talk to your doctor. In case of previous history of use of radiations in the past, inform your doctor in the past, since these medicines will cause your skin to become very red when exposed to any form of radiations again.
Inform your doctor immediately when you experience the darkening or redness of the skin. Never use any other form of medicine unless it has been discussed by your doctor. This includes prescriptions, non-prescriptions medicine and herbal or vitamin supplements.
5 Potential Side Effects
Sides may occur after using Hydroxyurea. When they occur, medical attention may be required. Check with your medical doctor for the presence of side effects immediately.
Some of the side effect does not need medical attention. These side effects sometimes go away with treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Your medical doctor may also may also advice you on ways of preventing or reducing some of the side effects of the medicine. In addition, it is advisable to check with your medical doctor or professional for signs of side effects in case they continue to be bothersome or when you have questions about them.
Other side effects that are not listed may occur in patients. If they are noticed, always check with your medical doctor and call for advice about the side effects. You may also need to report the side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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