hydroxyurea (Hydrea, Droxia)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Cancer 101: Cancer Explained

GENERIC NAME: hydroxyurea

BRAND NAME: Hydrea, Droxia

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Hydroxyurea (Hydrea) is an oral medication used to treat several types of cancers including chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), head and neck cancer, malignant melanoma, ovarian cancer, and polycythemia vera (a disorder of the bone marrow). The exact mechanism by which hydroxyurea works to treat cancer is not understood. However, it is thought that hydroxyurea causes an immediate inhibition of DNA synthesis by inhibiting an enzyme called ribonucleotide reductase. Interrupting DNA synthesis reduces the growth of cancer cells.

In-addition to treating cancer, Droxia another oral form of hydroxyurea is used in the management of sickle cell disease. The exact mechanism by which hydroxyurea works to treat sickle cell disease is not understood. The FDA approved hydroxyurea in December 1967.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Hydroxyurea is used to treat several types of cancer including chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), head and neck cancer, malignant melanoma, ovarian cancer, and polycythemia vera (a disorder of the bone marrow).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/9/2015

Quick GuidePancreatic Cancer Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment
FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

RxList Logo

Need help identifying pills and medications?

Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Cancer Report Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors