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Hydroxyurea use in sickle cell disease

Griffin P Rodgers, MD
Alex George, MD, PhD
Section Editors
Stanley L Schrier, MD
Donald H Mahoney, Jr, MD
Deputy Editor
Jennifer S Tirnauer, MD


The major causes of morbidity and mortality in sickle cell disease (SCD) are the acute and long-term consequences of vaso-occlusion and hemolysis, many of which cannot be reversed (eg, tissue infarction, vasculopathy). The approaches that are available for reducing these pathophysiologic processes are regular red blood cell (RBC) transfusions, hydroxyurea therapy, and hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT).

This topic review discusses hydroxyurea therapy in SCD, including the mechanism of action, administration, dosing, and adverse effects. Separate topic reviews present overviews of SCD clinical manifestations and management, and the use of regular RBC transfusions and HCT in SCD:

Clinical manifestations overview – (See "Overview of the clinical manifestations of sickle cell disease".)

Management overview – (See "Overview of the management and prognosis of sickle cell disease".)

Routine care for children – (See "Routine comprehensive care for children with sickle cell disease".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Dec 04, 2017.
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