Hydroxyurea was developed in the 1960s as a possible anti-cancer agent. It won approval for treatment of adults and later adolescents with sickle cell anemia in 1998 following evidence that the drug reduced episodes of severe pain and improved patient quality of life.The drug works by increasing production of fetal hemoglobin, a form of the oxygen-carrying protein that is unaffected by the mutations that cause sickle cell disease. Fetal hemoglobin normally drops dramatically after birth. Hydroxyurea, however, increases production of red blood cells that contain that form of hemoglobin.
Drug Reduces Hospitalizations And Cost Of Treating Young Children With Sickle Cell Anemia
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