What is a Generic Drug?

A generic drug is a copy of the brand-name drug with the same dosage, safety, strength, quality, consumption method, performance, and intended use. Before generics become available on the market, the generic company must prove it has the same active ingredients as the brand-name drug and works in the same way and in the same amount of time in the body.

The only differences between generics and their brand-name counterparts is that generics are less expensive and may look slightly different (eg. different shape or color), as trademarks laws prevent a generic from looking exactly like the brand-name drug.

Generics are less expensive because generic manufacturers don't have to invest large sums of money to develop a drug. When the brand-name patent expires, generic companies can manufacture a copy of the brand-name and sell it at a substantial discount.

Hydrea (Hydroxyurea)


Hydrea (Hydroxyurea)

Prescription Required


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Generic Equivalent - Hydrea (Hydroxyurea)

Prescription Required


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  • Product Details


    HYDREA (Hydroxyurea) is a chemotherapy medication that is used to treat various types of cancer. HYDREA may be prescribed for:

    • Locally advanced squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck, in combination with chemoradiation
    • Resistant chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)

    HYDREA should only be used under the close supervision of a doctor specially trained to treat cancer (oncologist).

    HYDREA works by preventing the replication of cancerous cells. It belongs to the antimetabolite class of medications.


    Take HYDREA exactly as prescribed by the doctor. The dose is individualized based on the type of tumor, disease state, risk factors, and the current standard of practice.


    The active ingredient in HYDREA is hydroxyurea.

    Fact Table







    Legal status

    RX Only

    Chemical Name


    Elimination half-life

    2-4 hours

    Dosage (Strength)

    500mg (100 capsules)


    Consult a doctor


    Droxia, Hydrea, Siklos

    Protein binding


    PubChem CID






    ATC code






    Routes of administration



    HYDREA has many potential drug-drug interactions. Speak with your healthcare provider if you are taking any of the following medications:

    • Bacillus Calmette-Guierin
    • Cladribine
    • Didanosine
    • Dipyrone
    • Natalizumab
    • Pimecrolimus
    • Stavudine
    • Tacrolimus
    • Upacitinib
    • Vaccines


    The oncologist should reduce the dose by 50% in people with moderate to severe kidney impairment.

    HYDREA should not be used while pregnant and can cause harm to a developing fetus.

    HYDREA causes bone marrow suppression (myelosuppression). A complete blood count (CBC) will need to be monitored regularly during treatment.

    HYDREA increases sensitivity to the sun and artificial sources of ultraviolet (UV)

    Side Effects

    Side effects with HYDREA are common and can be severe. Tell your oncologist if you are experiencing any of the following:

    • Acute mucocutaneous toxicity
    • Anemia
    • Asthma
    • Dermatological reaction
    • Eczema
    • Fever
    • Headache
    • Infection
    • Leg ulcer
    • Macrocytosis
    • Neutropenia
    • Thrombocytopenia
    • Vitamin D deficiency
    • Weight gain


    1. Hydrea [package insert].Princeton, NJ: Bristol-Myers Squibb; 2016.

    Frequently Asked Questions about Hydrea (Hydroxyurea)

    What is Hydrea (Hydroxyurea)?

    Hydrea is a prescription medication containing the active ingredient hydroxyurea. It is used to treat certain types of cancers and blood disorders.

    How does Hydrea work?

    Hydroxyurea works by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells and abnormal blood cells.

    Who should take Hydrea?

    Hydrea is prescribed to patients with certain types of leukemia, sickle cell anemia, and other specific blood disorders. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any medication.

    What are the side effects of Hydrea?

    Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and skin changes. Some people may experience more severe side effects, and it's important to discuss any concerns with your doctor.

    Can I take Hydrea while pregnant or breastfeeding?

    Hydrea can harm an unborn baby. It is essential to avoid pregnancy while taking this medication and for a certain period after stopping it. It is not known if hydroxyurea passes into breast milk, so breastfeeding while taking this medication is not recommended.

    How should I take Hydrea?

    Always take Hydrea exactly as prescribed by your doctor. It is usually taken once daily, with or without food.

    What should I do if I miss a dose?

    If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it's close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

    Can I drink alcohol while taking Hydrea?

    It's best to discuss this with your doctor, as alcohol may interact with Hydrea or exacerbate its side effects.

    Are there any foods or medications I should avoid while taking Hydrea?

    Some medications and foods may interact with Hydrea. Always inform your doctor of all the medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking.

    How should I store Hydrea?

    Store Hydrea at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. Keep it out of reach of children and pets.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.

    Product Code : 1559

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