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trademark for a preparation of hydroxyurea, an antineoplastic agent.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


Droxia, Hydrea

Pharmacologic class: Antimetabolite

Therapeutic class: Antineoplastic

Pregnancy risk category D

FDA Box Warning

• Drug may cause severe and even life-threatening adverse effects. Administer under supervision of physician experienced in using drug to treat sickle cell anemia.

• Drug damages genes, chromosomes, and DNA and may be carcinogenic. Secondary leukemias have occurred in patients receiving it as long-term therapy for myeloproliferative disorders. Prescriber and patient must carefully weigh potential benefits against undefined risk of secondary cancers.


Unknown. May inhibit enzyme necessary for DNA synthesis without disrupting RNA or protein synthesis.


Capsules: 200 mg, 300 mg, 400 mg, 500 mg

Indications and dosages

Head and neck cancer; ovarian cancer; malignant melanoma

Adults: 60 to 80 mg/kg (2 to 3 g/m2) P.O. as a single daily dose q 3 days, or 20 to 30 mg/kg/day P.O. as a single dose. Begin therapy 7 days before radiation.

Resistant chronic myelogenous leukemia

Adults: 20 to 30 mg/kg/day P.O. in one or two divided doses

Sickle cell anemia

Adults and children: 15 mg/kg/day P.O. as a single dose. May increase by 5 mg/kg/day P.O. q 12 weeks, up to 35 mg/kg/day.

Off-label uses

• Thrombocythemia

• Human immunodeficiency virus


• Hypersensitivity to drug or tartrazine

• Bone marrow depression

• Severe anemia or thrombocytopenia


Use cautiously in:

• renal or hepatic impairment

• obese patients

• females of childbearing age

• elderly patients.


• Provide frequent mouth care.

Adverse reactions

CNS: drowsiness, malaise, confusion, dizziness, headache

GI: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, stomatitis, anorexia

GU: dysuria, hyperuricemia, infertility, renal tubular dysfunction

Hematologic: anemia, megaloblastosis, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, bone marrow depression

Hepatic: hepatitis

Metabolic: hyperuricemia

Skin: alopecia, erythema, pruritus, rash, urticaria, exacerbation of post-radiation erythema

Other: chills, fever


Drug-drug. Live-virus vaccines: decreased antibody response to vaccine, increased risk of adverse reactions

Myelosuppressants: additive bone marrow depression

Drug-diagnostic tests. Blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, uric acid: increased values

Hemoglobin, platelets, red blood cells, white blood cells: decreased values

Mean corpuscular volume: transient increase

Patient monitoring

• Assess CBC weekly.

• Closely monitor patient with renal or hepatic impairment. Check kidney and liver function tests often.

• Assess fluid status. Make sure patient drinks 10 to 12 glasses of water daily.

Patient teaching

• Advise patient to mark dates for drug doses, diagnostic tests, and treatments on calendar.

Instruct patient to immediately report easy bruising, bleeding, unusual tiredness, or yellowing of skin or eyes.

• Tell patient to report such adverse effects as appetite loss, nausea, vomiting, oral lesions, constipation, diarrhea, confusion, dizziness, headache, and rash.

• Instruct female patient to use barrier contraception.

• Tell patient he will undergo regular blood testing to monitor drug effects.

• As appropriate, review all other significant and life-threatening adverse reactions and interactions, especially those related to the drugs and tests mentioned above.

McGraw-Hill Nurse's Drug Handbook, 7th Ed. Copyright © 2013 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved


A brand name for HYDROXYUREA (hydroxycarbamide).
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005