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Hydrea is a phase-specific cytostatic drug that acts in phase S of the cycling cells. It inhibits cell growth in the G1-S interphase, which increases the synergistic sensitivity of tumor cells in the G1 phase to radiation. In addition, it inhibits DNA synthesis without affecting the synthesis of RNA and protein.

Composition and form of release

Hydrea is made in the form of solid pink-green capsules. Each capsule has an individual black marking “BMS 303”. The active substance is hydroxycarbamide.


Hydrea is indicated in conjunction with other antitumor agents in the treatment of myeloid leukemia, melanoma, true polycythemia, breast and stomach carcinoma, essential thrombocythemia, aleukemic myelosis, and lymphoblastic leukemia.

The drug is used to stop blast crises that occur in chronic myelogenous leukemia.

In addition, the drug gives excellent results in combination with radiation therapy for malignant neoplasms localized in the cervix, brain, ovaries, lungs, as well as the neck and head.


It is not prescribed for blood leukocytes below 2500/μl and platelets below 100000/μl.

Capsules are not prescribed for patients with hydroxycarbamide intolerance.

The drug should not be used in the treatment of children. It should be especially careful to prescribe the drug to patients who have liver dysfunction, renal failure, severe forms of anemia, lactose intolerance. Hydrea should be taken with caution by patients who have recently undergone chemo- or radiotherapeutic treatment.

Pregnancy and lactation

Hydrea should not be used in the treatment of women during the lactation or gestational periods.

Dosage and administration

The drug is intended for oral administration. Capsules are taken before meals. The drug is intended for a course of treatment.

If the doctor has not prescribed an individual regimen, then the drug is taken at 80 mg per kg of body weight once every three days or daily once if your body is 20 to 30 mg per kg.

When using the drug in the treatment of elderly patients, a dosage reduction is recommended. During treatment, the patient should take a sufficient amount of fluid, which will contribute to its most rapid elimination.


Taking the drug in high doses may be accompanied by the development of changes in the mucous membranes and skin. Also, in some patients, skin soreness, purple erythema, peeling and swelling of the extremities, acute stomatitis and hyperpigmentation of the skin are found.

Side effects

  • Hemopoietic organs: the frequency is unknown – suppression of bone marrow function (leukopenia, anemia, thrombocytopenia).
  • Digestive organs: the frequency is unknown – hepatotoxicity, pancreatitis, sometimes fatal (in HIV-infected patients who are simultaneously receiving antiretroviral therapy, in particular, didanosine and stavudine); stomatitis, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, mucositis, dyspepsia, irritation of the gastric mucosa, ulceration of the gastrointestinal mucosa; increased activity of “liver” enzymes and plasma bilirubin concentration.
  • Skin and appendages: the frequency is unknown – skin vasculitis, maculopapular rashes, erythema of the face and peripheral erythema, ulceration of the skin, dermatomyositis-like skin changes, skin exfoliation, hyperpigmentation, erythema, atrophy of the skin and nails, peeling, purple papules, toxic skin vasculitis (including vasculitic ulceration and gangrene); rarely – alopecia, skin cancer.
  • Nervous system: the frequency is unknown – dizziness, drowsiness, disorientation; headache, hallucinations, convulsions, peripheral neuropathy (in HIV-infected patients simultaneously receiving antiretroviral therapy, in particular, didanosine and stavudine), increased fatigue.
  • Respiratory system: frequency unknown – pulmonary fibrosis, diffuse lung infiltration, shortness of breath.
  • Urinary system: the frequency is unknown – an increase in the content of uric acid in blood serum, an increase in the nitrogen content of urea and creatinine in blood plasma, urinary retention, interstitial nephritis, rarely dysuria.
  • Other: the frequency is unknown – chills, fever, general malaise, increased blood sedimentation rate, skin allergic reactions, asthenia, rarely – diffuse lung infiltration, shortness of breath. Cases of pancreatitis and hepatotoxicity (possibly fatal), as well as severe peripheral neuropathy, have been reported in HIV patients who took hydroxycarbamide with antiretroviral drugs, in particular, didanosine in combination with or without stavudine.

Side effects observed with the simultaneous use of hydroxycarbamide and radiation therapy are the same as with monotherapy with the drug, mainly inhibition of bone marrow function (leukopenia, anemia) and irritation of the gastric mucosa. Taking hydroxycarbamide can enhance some of the side effects that are observed with radiation therapy, such as stomach discomfort and mucositis.