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Idiosyncratic Side Effects of Hydroxyurea in Patients with Sickle Cell Anemia | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2155-9864

Journal of Blood Disorders & Transfusion
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Short Communication

Idiosyncratic Side Effects of Hydroxyurea in Patients with Sickle Cell Anemia

Samir K Ballas+*, Priya Singh1, Patricia Adams-Graves2 and Cindy J Wordell3

1Sickle Cell Center, Cardeza Foundation, Department of Medicine, Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA

2Diggs-Kraus Sickle Cell Center, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN, USA

3Department of Pharmacy, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Samir K. Ballas
Cardeza Foundation, 1015 Walnut Street
Philadelphia PA 19107, USA
Tel: 856-745-6380
Fax: 856-795-0809
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: August 20, 2013; Accepted date: October 07, 2013; Published date: October 12, 2013

Citation: Ballas SK, Singh P, Adams-Graves P, Wordell CJ, (2013) Idiosyncratic Side Effects of Hydroxyurea in Patients with Sickle Cell Anemia. J Blood Disord Transfus 4:162. doi: 10.4172/2155-9864.1000162

Copyright: © 2013 Ballas SK, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Hydroxyurea was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of adults with moderate to severe sickle cell anemia and sickle-β0-thalassemia. Its major side effect is myelotoxicity, which is reversible upon discontinuation of the drug. Other side effects that have been described in animal studies but unconfirmed in humans include its teratogenic and carcinogenic potential. Additionally, hydroxyurea has idiosyncratic side effects that occur in some individuals and this may be a genetic or epigenetic phenomenon. We report three idiosyncratic side effects of hydroxyurea in four patients with sickle cell anemia (SS). Desquamating rash, decreased libido and partial complex seizures have not been previously described in patients who are hydroxyurea responders. Although these reactions are rare, they can be serious in some patients.


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