What are the effects of hydroxyurea in patients with sickle cell disease (SCD)?

Updated: May 12, 2021
  • Author: Joseph E Maakaron, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
  • Print
Answer

Hydroxyurea has an established role as a safe and effective treatment for SCD. [70] Hydroxyurea increases total and fetal hemoglobin in children with SCD. [71] The increase in fetal hemoglobin retards gelation and sickling of RBCs. Hydroxyurea also reduces levels of circulating leukocytes, which decreases the adherence of neutrophils to the vascular endothelium (see image below.) In turn, these effects reduce the incidence of pain episodes [71] and acute chest syndrome episodes. [54]

Effects of therapy with hydroxyurea.

Effects of therapy with hydroxyurea. Effects of therapy with hydroxyurea.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!