Sickle Cell Disease Association of America
Philadelphia/Delaware Valley Chapter
5070 Parkside Avenue - Suite 1404
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19131
215-471-8686 tel  215-471-7441 fax
scdaa.pdvc@verizon.net
SCDAA/PDVC

ARE NEW TREATMENTS BEING MADE?

Currently researchers are studying a number of new treatments with the potential to reduce complications of the disease. For example, hydroxyurea, decitabine and butyrate (a food additive) appear to cause the body to make a form of hemoglobin (fetal hemo-globin) that is produced in a baby before birth. Increased levels of fetal hemoglobin appear to help prevent red blood cells from sickling.
BE SURE TO VIEW THE VIDEO BELOW
TO LEARN  MORE ABOUT HYDROXYUREA TREATMENT



HYDROXYUREA TREATMENT



What is hydroxyurea (HU)?
  

Hydroxyurea is a medicine that has been shown to be effective in treating some patients with Sickle Cell Disease.  It is the only FDA approved medicine for the treatment of sickle cell disease in adults. Strong evidence supports the effectiveness of hydroxyurea in decreasing severe painful episodes, hospitalizations, number of blood transfusions, and acute chest pain. Although the evidence for efficacy of hydroxyurea treatment for children is not as strong, the emerging data is very encouraging.

Below are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the use of Hydroxyurea. Be certain to VIEW THE VIDEO for more detailed information about this helpful treatment.
  1. What are some of the benefits of treatment with HU?  HU was recently tested in patients with Sickle Cell Anemia who experienced more than three episodes of pain or  “crises” per year.  It was shown to decrease the number of episodes of pain by half.  It also decreased the amount of time spent in the hospital and the amount of blood transfusions some people receive.

  2. How does HU work?  HU works by changing some of the hemoglobin (the part of the cell that carries oxygen in your body) in your red blood cells from sickle cell to fetal (baby) hemoglobin.  Fetal hemoglobin does not sickle and helps prevent red blood cells from getting stuck in your blood vessels, causing pain.

  3. Does HU cure Sickle Cell?  No, but is can help some patients.  It can prevent episodes from occurring but cannot stop a painful crisis once it has started.

  4. How often would I have to take HU?  One time each day.  This is very important in order to keep your fetal hemoglobin levels high