Hydrea can cause mild or severe side effects. The following lists contain some of the main side effects that can occur when taking Hydrea. These lists do not include all possible side effects.
Hydrea is available in one dosage: 500 milligrams (mg). These side effects are for this 500mg strength.
For more information about the possible side effects of Hydrea, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you advice on how to deal with side effects that may be concerning or bothersome.
To note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks the side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA of a side effect you have had with Hydrea, you can do so via MedWatch.
Mild side effects
Mild side effects* of Hydrea may include:
Most of these side effects may disappear within a few days or weeks. However, if they get worse or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
*This is a partial list of mild Hydrea side effects. For more information about other mild side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist, or check the prescribing information.
† For more information on this side effect, see “Details of side effects” below.
Serious side effects
Serious side effects from Hydrea are not common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you experience any serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms are life-threatening or you think you have a medical emergency.
Serious side effects and their symptoms may include:
- Cancers, such as other forms of leukemia and skin cancer. Depending on the specific type of cancer, symptoms may include:
- skin sores that bleed or do not heal
- Severe skin ulcers (sores). Symptoms around the affected area may include:
- pain, swelling or tenderness
- Serious lung problems, such as pulmonary fibrosis (lung scarring) and pneumonitis (swollen air sacs in the lungs). Symptoms may include:
- Low blood cell count.*
- Allergic reaction.*
* For more information on this side effect, see ‘Details of side effects’ below.
Details of side effects
Here are some details about some side effects that this drug can cause.
Low blood cell count
Hydrea can decrease bone marrow activity, which can lead to low blood cell counts. (Bone marrow is the spongy material inside bones.) However, it is not known how often this side effect has been reported in clinical tests of Hydraa.
Hydrea can cause low levels of the following blood cells:
- Platelets, which are a type of red blood cell that helps your blood clot. A low platelet count is called thrombocytopenia. Symptoms include bleeding or bruising more easily than usual.
- Leukocytes, which are a type of white blood cells. A low white blood cell count is called leukopenia. Symptoms may include fever, sweats and chills.
- Red blood cells. A low level of red blood cells can lead to anemia. Symptoms may include fatigue and paleness or lighter skin than usual. Hydrea can cause a type of anemia called hemolytic anemia. This is a condition in which your red blood cells are destroyed faster than your body can replace them. In addition to the above symptoms, hemolytic anemia can cause dark urine or jaundice.
You are more likely to have a low blood cell count with Hydrea if you have had radiation therapy or chemotherapy before. Be sure to tell your doctor about all cancer treatments you have received.
Your doctor will likely check your platelet, red blood cell, and white blood cell counts before starting treatment with Hydrea. They will also check your levels from time to time while you are taking the medication.
If you have symptoms of low blood cell counts while taking Hydrea, tell your doctor. They may treat you to increase your blood cell count. Your doctor may also adjust your Hydrea dosage or prescribe a medicine other than Hydrea.
Digestive issues are possible with Hydrea. These side effects have not been reported in clinical tests drug. However, digestive issues have been commonly reported with Hydrea since the drug first became available.
Digestive issues that may occur with Hydrea include:
It’s important to note that digestive issues can increase your risk of dehydration. If you are dehydrated, your body can lose large amounts of water and substances called electrolytes.
To stay hydrated while taking Hydrea, you can drink water or sports drinks, such as Gatorade.
If you have digestive problems while taking Hydrea, tell your doctor. They can suggest ways to relieve your symptoms. For example, your doctor may recommend that you take Hydrea with food to help prevent digestive issues.
Loss of appetite
Loss of appetite is a more common side effect of Hydrea. This was not reported in clinical tests drug. However, loss of appetite has been frequently reported since Hydrea became available.
Loss of appetite can be caused by digestive issues, which is another possible side effect of Hydrea. For more details, see “Digestive problems” above.
If you have a loss of appetite with Hydrea, talk to your doctor. Instead of eating larger meals, it may help to eat several small meals and snacks throughout the day. And make sure you stay hydrated, even if you can’t eat as much as usual.
As with most medications, some people may have an allergic reaction after taking Hydrea. This side effect has not been reported in clinical tests drug. However, it has since been reported that Hydrea became available to the public.
Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction may include:
A more serious allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction may include:
- swelling under the skin, usually in the eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
- swelling of the tongue, mouth or throat
- difficulty breathing
Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Hydrea, as the reaction could become severe. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms are life-threatening or you think you have a medical emergency.