Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Hydroxyurea

Hydroxyurea

Last updated on 08/07/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Hydroxyurea

ALTERNATIVE NAME: Hydroxycarbamide

CHINESE NAME: 羥基脲

BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Hydroxyurea Medac, Apo-Hydroxyurea

DRUG CLASS: Antineoplastics

SUB CLASS: Antimetabolites

USED FOR: Cytotoxic chemotherapy, Chronic myeloid leukemia

AVAILABLE DOSAGE FORMS: 500 mg (capsules)

What is Hydroxyurea for?

Hydroxyurea is an antimetabolite that inhibits an enzyme ribonucleoside diphosphate reductase to suppress the synthesis of DNA of, especially, neoplastic cells. Therefore, it can be used in cytotoxic chemotherapy and chronic myeloid leukemia.

How to use it?

Before taking hydroxyurea, it is usually recommended to take Folic Acid before treatment. Hydroxyurea is taken as oral capsules and the dose will be calculated by your doctor based on your weight and white blood cell count. Hydroxyurea should be swallowed as a whole.

Chronic myeloid leukemia
Adult and elderly
The initial dose is 40 mg/kg daily, reduced to 20 mg/kg daily if the white blood cell count falls below 2,000/mm3.

Head and neck cancer
Adult and elderly
1,000 mg every 12 hours for 11 doses per cycle along with fluorouracil and radiotherapy.

What are the side effects of Hydroxyurea?

Common side effects of Hydroxyurea include, but not limited to, eczema, macrocytosis, neutropenia, infection and headache.

Who should not take Hydroxyurea?

– People allergic to Hydroxyurea or any component of the formulation.
– Patients with severe bone marrow suppression, thrombocytopenia and severe anemia.

Pharmacist Tips:

– Folic acid before initial treatment should be administered.
– Do not open, break or chew the capsules.
– Prepare oral solution if the capsules cannot be swallowed.
– Use impervious gloves for handling Hydroxyurea and wash the area of contact with soap and water.

Common dosing schedule:
Hydroxyurea is prescribed in institutions, mostly with Folic acid, by the physicians.

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs. 

Some common medications Hydroxyurea may interact with:
– Baricitinib
Bupivacaine
– Cladribine
– Palifermin
Tacrolimus
– Vaccines, e.g. BCG, Smallpox and Monkeypox, COVID-19

Hydroxyurea may interact with many other medications. Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Hydroxyurea in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Hydroxyurea is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at https://www.drugoffice.gov.hk

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Hydroxyurea in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.