Class/mechanism: Exact mechanism unclear, but data suggests that hydroxyurea inhibits DNA synthesis by inhibiting ribonucleotide reductase, which inhibits cancer cell growth. May sensitize tumors to radiation by keeping cells in the G1 phase of the cell cycle, where they are most vulnerable to radiation, and/or by interfering with DNA repair processes. Does not appear to affect RNA and protein synthesis.
For conciseness and simplicity, HemOnc.org currently will focus on treatment regimens and not list information such as: renal/hepatic dose adjustments, metabolism (including CYP450), excretion, monitoring parameters (although this will be considered for checklists), or manufacturer. Instead, for the most current information, please refer to your preferred pharmacopeias such as Micromedex, Lexicomp, UpToDate (courtesy of Lexicomp), or the prescribing information.
Diseases for which it is used
- Acute myeloid leukemia
- Acute promyelocytic leukemia
- Cervical cancer
- Essential thrombocythemia
- Head and neck cancer
- Hypereosinophilic syndrome
- Polycythemia vera
- Sickle cell anemia
Patient drug information
- Brief patient counseling information can be found in the Hydroxyurea (Hydrea) package insert
- Hydroxyurea (Hydrea) patient drug information (Chemocare)
- Hydroxyurea (Hydrea) patient drug information (UpToDate)
History of changes in FDA indication
- 12/7/1967: Initial FDA approval
- 12/21/2017: Granted regular FDA approval (as Siklos) to reduce the frequency of painful crises and the need for blood transfusions in pediatric patients from 2 years of age and older with sickle cell anemia with recurrent moderate to severe painful crises.
Also known as
- Generic names: dhnp, hidroxiurea, hydroxycarbam, hydroxycarbamid, hydroxycarbamide
- Brand names: Biosupressin, Cytodrox, Droxia, Droxiurea, Durea, Hidrea, Hondrea, Hydab, Hydrea, Hydrine, Hydrourea, Hytas, Litalir, Myelostat, Mylocel, Neodrea, Onco Carbide, Siklos, Syrea, Ureax