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OralChemoEdSheets.com, the Patient and Healthcare Providers Resource

Generic

Hydroxyurea

(hy-DROK-see-yoo-REE-uh)

Brand

Hydrea®

(hy-DREE-uh)

Hydroxyurea (Hydrea®) is used to treat adult patients with chronic myeloid leukemia, sickle cell anemia, and head and neck cancer when used with radiation.

 
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Page 1 HYDROXYUREA ORAL CHEMOTHERAPY EDUCATION Name of your medication Generic name — hydroxyurea hy DROK see yoo REE uh Brand name — Hydrea® hy DREE uh , Droxia™ DROK see uh Approved uses Hydroxyurea is used to treat adult patients with chronic myeloid leukemia, sickle cell anemia, and head and neck cancer when used with radiation. Dose and schedule Taking hydroxyurea as instructed is important to allow your treatment to be as effective as possible, so here are some key points to remember. Your dose is based on many factors, including your height and weight, overall health, and diagnosis. Hydroxyurea can be taken with or without food but at the same time each day. Hydroxyurea should be taken whole and not crushed, cut, or dissolved. If you are unable to swallow hydroxyurea, talk to your care provider or pharmacist for possible options. If you miss a dose of hydroxyurea, do not take an extra dose or two doses at one time. Simply take your next dose at the regularly scheduled time. Be sure to write down if you miss a dose and let your care provider know about any missed doses. Storage and handling Handle hydroxyurea with care. Just like when chemotherapy is given into the vein, this drug can be toxic, and exposure of the drug to others should be limited. Store hydroxyurea at room temperature 68°F–77°F in a dry location away from light. Keep hydroxyurea out of reach of children and pets. Leave hydroxyurea in the provided packaging until it is ready to be taken. Whenever possible, give hydroxyurea to yourself and follow the steps below. If a family member, friend, or caregiver needs to give hydroxyurea to you, they also need to follow these steps: 1. Wash hands with soap and water. 2. Put on gloves to avoid touching the medication. Gloves are not necessary if you give the drug to yourself. 3. Gently transfer the hydroxyurea from its package to a small medicine or other disposable cup. 4. Administer the medicine immediately by mouth with water. 5. Remove gloves and do not use them for anything else. 6. Throw gloves and medicine cup in household trash. 7. Wash hands with soap and water. HYDROXYUREA ORAL CHEMOTHERAPY EDUCATION Page 2 If a daily pill box or pill reminder is used, a separate one should be used for hydroxyurea. Do not mix other medications into the box with hydroxyurea. The person filling the box or reminder should wear gloves gloves are not necessary if you are filling the box or reminder . When empty, the box or reminder should be washed with soap and water before refilling. Be sure to wash hands with soap and water after the task is complete, whether or not gloves are worn. If you have any unused hydroxyurea, do not throw it in the trash and do not flush it down the sink or toilet. Talk to your care provider or pharmacist about proper disposal of hydroxyurea. If you are traveling, put hydroxyurea in a sealed plastic bag. Ask your pharmacist if any additional travel precautions are needed. Handling body fluids and waste Because hydroxyurea remains in your body for several days after it is taken, some of the drug may be present in urine, stool, sweat, or vomit. Once you have started to take hydroxyurea, it is important to follow the instructions below every day for as long as your treatment lasts. This is to keep yourself, loved ones, and the environment as safe as possible. Pregnant women should avoid touching anything that may be soiled with body fluids from the patient. Toilet and septic systems You may use the same toilet, septic tank, and/or sewer that you usually use. If you have a low flow toilet, close the lid and flush twice to ensure all waste has been discarded. If the toilet or toilet seat becomes soiled with urine, stool, or vomit, clean the surfaces before other people use the toilet. Wash hands with soap and water after using the toilet. If you need a bedpan, be sure your caregiver knows to wear gloves to assist with cleanup and to wash the bedpan with soap and water every day. If you do not have good control of bladder or bowels, use a disposable pad with a plastic back, a diaper, or a sheet to absorb body waste. Wash any skin that has been exposed to body waste or hydroxyurea with soap and water. Linens or clothing that are soiled with body fluids or body waste should be washed separately from other linens and clothing. If you do not have a washer, place the soiled linens in a plastic bag until they can be washed. Wash hands with soap and water after touching linens or clothing that may be soiled with body fluids. Drug and food interactions Hydroxyurea has many drug interactions. Inform your care providers of all prescription medications, over the counter medications, vitamins, and herbal products. Talk with your care provider or pharmacist before taking new medications or supplements, or receiving any vaccines. Avoid live vaccines during treatment with hydroxyurea. Serious side effects of hydroxyurea Hydroxyurea can cause bone marrow suppression, or a decrease in the number of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets, which can be severe. Speak to your care provider to know when you need to have laboratory tests done to monitor your blood cell counts. Hydroxyurea may lead to a secondary malignancy, or the growth of a cancer, months or years after treatment with hydroxyurea is complete. HYDROXYUREA ORAL CHEMOTHERAPY EDUCATION Page 3 Side Effects of Hydroxyurea The common side effects that have been known to happen in more than 30% of patients taking hydroxyurea are listed in the left side of this table. You MAY NOT experience these side effects. Options to help manage any side effects that do occur are included on the right side of this table. These should be discussed with your care provider. If you experience any side effect you cannot manage or that is not listed here, contact your care provider. Possible Side Effect Management Decreased white blood cells WBCs and increased risk for infection Your WBCs should be monitored by a simple blood test. When your WBCs are low, you are at a greater risk of having an infection. Take the following precautions to protect yourself from infection. Wash your hands often, especially before eating and after using the bathroom. Avoid crowds and people with fevers, flu, or other infection. Bathe regularly to keep good personal hygiene. Contact your care provider if you experience any signs or symptoms of an infection: Fever temperature more than 100.4°F or 38°C Chills Sore throat Burning with urination Unusual tiredness A sore that becomes red, is draining, or does not heal Check with your care provider before taking any medicine for a fever or chills. Decreased platelet count and increased risk of bleeding Your platelets should be monitored by a simple blood test. When they are low, you may bruise or bleed more easily than usual. Use caution to avoid bruises, cuts, or burns. Blow your nose gently, and do not pick your nose. Brush your teeth gently with a soft toothbrush, and maintain good oral hygiene. When shaving, use an electronic razor instead of razor blades. Use a nail file instead of nail clippers. Call your care provider if you have bleeding that won’t stop. Examples include the following: A bloody nose that bleeds for more than five minutes despite pressure A cut that continues to ooze despite pressure Gums that bleed excessively when you floss or brush Seek medical help immediately if you experience any severe headaches, observe blood in your urine or stool, cough up blood, or experience prolonged and uncontrollable bleeding. You may need to take a break or “hold” your medication for medical or dental procedures. Talk to your care provider or dentist before any scheduled procedures. Continued on the next page HYDROXYUREA ORAL CHEMOTHERAPY EDUCATION Page 4 Possible Side Effect Management Decreased hemoglobin, part of the red blood cells that carry iron and oxygen Your hemoglobin should be monitored using a blood test. When your hemoglobin is low, you may notice that you get tired or fatigued more easily. Try to get 7–8 hours of sleep per night. Avoid operating heavy machinery if you feel too tired. Find a balance between work and rest. Stay as active as possible, but know that it is okay to rest as needed. You might notice that you are more pale than usual. Let your healthcare provider know right away if you experience any of the following: Shortness of breath Dizziness Palpitations If you experience ANY uncontrolled side effect, call your physician or healthcare center immediately: INSTITUTIONAL CONTACT INFO Pregnancy, sexual activity, and contraception Women should not become pregnant and men should not get a partner pregnant while taking hydroxyurea. Women of childbearing age and potential should use effective contraception during therapy and for a minimum of 6 months after the last dose of hydroxyurea. Men of childbearing age and potential should use effective contraception during therapy and for a minimum of one year after the last dose of hydroxyurea. Do not breastfeed while taking hydroxyurea and for one month after the last dose of hydroxyurea. Inform your care provider if you become pregnant. It is safe to hug and kiss. Special precautions may be needed for sexual activity while on oral chemotherapy, and you are encouraged to ask your care provider. Obtaining medication Talk with your care provider about the process for obtaining your hydroxyurea. PHARMACY OR SPECIALTY PHARMACY CONTACT INFO Additional resources Product website: www.bms.com Product prescribing information: http://packageinserts.bms.com/pi/pi droxia.pdf http://packageinserts.bms.com/pi/pi hydrea.pdf Product resources: www.bms.com/patient and caregivers.html Updated – September 8, 2017 HYDROXYUREA ORAL CHEMOTHERAPY EDUCATION Page 5 Additional instructions Important notice: The Association of Community Cancer Centers ACCC , Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association HOPA , National Community Oncology Dispensing Association, Inc. NCODA , and Oncology Nursing Society ONS have collaborated in gathering information for and developing this patient education guide. This guide represents a brief summary of the medication derived from information provided by the drug manufacturer and other resources. This guide does not cover all existing information related to the possible uses, directions, doses, precautions, warnings, interactions, adverse effects, or risks associated with this medication and should not substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional. Provision of this guide is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or imply endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of this medication by ACCC, HOPA, NCODA, or ONS, who assume no liability for and cannot ensure the accuracy of the information presented. The collaborators are not making any representations with respect to the medications whatsoever, and any and all decisions, with respect to such medications, are at the sole risk of the individual consuming the medication. All decisions related to taking this medication should be made with the guidance and under the direction of a qualified healthcare professional. Permission: Oral Chemotherapy Education OCE sheets are provided as a free educational resource for patients with cancer in need of concise, easy to understand information about oral cancer drugs. Healthcare providers are permitted to copy and distribute the sheets to patients as well as direct patients to the OCE website for information. However, commercial reproduction or reuse, as well as rebranding or reposting of any type, are strictly prohibited without permission of the copyright holder. Please email permission requests and licensing inquiries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Copyright © 2017 by Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association. All rights reserved.

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