Hydroxyurea affects certain cells in the body, such as cancer cells or sickled red blood cells.

Hydroxyurea is used to treat chronic myeloid leukemia, ovarian cancer, and certain types of skin cancer (squamous cell cancer of the head and neck).

Hydroxyurea is also used to reduce pain episodes and the need for blood transfusions in people with sickle cell anemia. Hydroxyurea will not cure sickle cell anemia.

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  • Droxia, Hydrea
  • More common
    Cough or hoarseness
    fever or chills
    lower back or side pain
    painful or difficult urination
    Less common
    Black, tarry stools
    blackening of the fingernails and toenails
    blood in the urine or stools
    pinpoint red spots on the skin
    sores in the mouth and on the lips
    unusual bleeding or bruising
    convulsions (seizures)
    difficulty with urination
    joint pain
    seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
    swelling of the feet or lower legs
    Incidence not known
    Bleeding under the skin
    blisters on the skin
    bluish or pale color on the skin of the fingers or toes
    coldness of the fingers or toes
    crater-like lesions on the skin
    itching skin
    numbness or tingling of the fingers or toes
    pain in the fingers or toes
    unusual tiredness or weakness
    weight loss
    If any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking hydroxyurea, get emergency help immediately:

    Symptoms of overdose
    Scaling of the skin on the hands and feet
    severe darkening of skin color
    sores in the mouth and on the lips
    swelling of the palms and soles of the feet
    violet flushing of the skin
    Severity: Minor
    Some of the side effects that can occur with hydroxyurea may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

    More common
    loss of appetite
    nausea or vomiting
    Less common
    redness of skin at the place of irradiation
    skin rash and itching
  • (hydroxyurea) capsule