Hydroxycarbamide is used to treat cancer of the white blood cells (leukaemia).
This medicine may also be used together with radiation treatment to treat cancer of the cervix, head and neck.
Hydroxycarbamide may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Take Hydroxycarbamide exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
If you have difficulty swallowing capsules, you may open the capsule and empty the contents into a glass of water. Drink it immediately after mixing. Some of the powder may not dissolve and may float on the surface of the water. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Hydroxycarbamide must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have blood disorder as this medicine may not be suitable for you.
Do not take Hydroxycarbamide if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby soon. If you become pregnant while being treated with this medicine, alert your doctor immediately. This medicine may cause harm to your unborn child. You must use proven birth control methods while taking this medicine.
Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- kidney disease
- currently taking medicines for cancer treatment
- previously on radiation therapy
Do not inhale nor let the capsule or its contents to be in contact with your eyes or skin.
Make sure that you wear gloves when handling Hydroxycarbamide capsules. Do not touch it with your bare hands. Do not reuse the gloves.
If you accidentally spill the powder, wipe it immediately with a damp disposable towel. Place the towel and empty capsules in a plastic bag and throw it away immediately. Wash your hands thoroughly after.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly. Routine blood tests, kidney and liver function tests may be needed while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have blood tests.
Hydroxycarbamide may cause drowsiness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects include any of the following: headache, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, stomach discomfort or pain, weakness, mouth sore, hair loss, nail discolouration, rashes and other skin problems.
Apply sunscreen when going outdoors and avoid direct or prolonged exposure to sunlight.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat
- shortness or difficulty breathing
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking medicines for HIV infection (e.g. didanosine, stavudine) or if you recently had a vaccination or planning to have one.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
As Hydroxycarbamide is a cancer medicine, always return any unused or expired capsules to the clinic, hospital or pharmacy for disposal. Do not throw it away in the household waste.