Hydroxyurea for children with sickle cell anemia in sub-Saharan Africa

Hydroxyurea for children with sickle cell anemia in sub-Saharan Africa

Hydroxyurea for children with sickle cell anemia in sub-Saharan Africa

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Wed, 12/05/2018 – 12:27

Although hydroxyurea effectively treats sickle cell anemia, its impact could be compromised in some parts of the world by malnutrition, malaria, and other coexisting conditions. To investigate, researchers enrolled more than 600 sub-Saharan children, aged 1–10 years, with the disease. Participants received hydroxyurea at a body weight-appropriate daily dose for 6 months, followed by dose escalation. The specified outcomes included feasibility, safety, and benefits. The therapy curbed the incidence of vaso-occlusive events, infections, malaria, transfusions, and death. In addition, dose-limiting toxic events regarding laboratory variables affected 5.1% of the study population, less than the protocol-specified threshold for safety. The evidence, showing daily hydroxyurea treatment to be safe and feasible in sub-Saharan children with sickle cell anemia, supports the need for expanded access to the therapy. As countries in the region launch newborn screening programs to detect sickle cell anemia, the researchers believe wider access to hydroxyurea may offer a simple and cheap oral medication that can alter the pathology of disease and prolong survival.

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Source: Pharmacy Today | www.pharmacist.com

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