Hello beautiful people! Apologies for disappearing on you without a word. I had a ton of things going on personally that I needed to address but I'm back though and ready to get back to blogging consistently. I really did miss this space and thanks to you guys for keeping up with me on Instagram while waiting for me to return here.
Without further ado, today's post is on hydroxyurea and its functions in sickle cell. This drug has been found effective in reducing the frequency of pain crisis for patients with the disease by improving the function of the red blood cells. It does this by making the cells bigger, rounder and more flexible meaning they are less likely to turn into a sickle shape through the increase of a special hemoglobin called hemoglobin F (fetal hemoglobin).
As with any medication, there are known side effects from taking hydroxyurea, some are mild while others are more severe but these are in rare cases. Some signs to look out for that necessitate contacting your doctor include: open sores, mouth sores, bleeding or infections, difficulty breathing, hives or swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat. My sister used to take this drug herself a few years ago and fortunately recorded none of these severe side effects. The only things she experienced at the time were tiredness, darkening of her nail beds and in some cases nausea.
Doctors started using hydroxyurea to treat sickle cell in the 1980s and after seeing its functions in the treatment of the disease, the drug was approved for use in adults by the FDA in 1998 then children in 2017. People with SCD who take hydroxyurea have fewer pain crises, blood transfusions, episodes of acute chest syndrome and hospital stays. Another one of its functions is its ability to prevent or slow down damage to organs.
For men or women taking this drug who are looking to have children, it is necessary to speak with your doctor ahead of time as hydroxyurea may increase the risk of birth defects in children (even though this is still to be proved) and lower sperm count in men. Overall, taking hydroxyurea and its functions in sickle cell leads to better health for patients and could definitely help with significant reduction in painful crises episodes.
I hope this helps anyone looking into taking the drug as treatment for SCD. More information and details are available all over the internet. See here as an instance so please do your research and talk to your doctor to see if this is something that could help you.
Always Love 💘