Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Why I Don't Take Hydroxyurea

Last year, after numerous bouts of falling sick, my doctor practically ordered me to give Hydroxyurea a shot. Also known as Hydrea, this is one of the medications that has been known to reduce the incidence of sickle cell crises'. When she explained it to me, it sounded good, but as soon as I had the script filled and in my hands, I started trembling.

For some reason, my skin crawled and I recoiled from accepting the two large canisters for 300 pills. I had done my research, and the list of side effects was monstrous, however she assured me that 'most people don't have side effects.'

I got home and Norio and I read the whole packet, front to back, and the more I read, the more discouraged I got about taking the medicine. Developed originally as a chemotherapy drug, Hydrea has the potential of preventing crises by actually killing off the neoplastic 'sickle cells' and prevents the developed ones from taking the sickle cell shape. Since it's the clumping of the shape that causes a crises, it's been known to reduce crises' by as much as 50%.

Except it's a cancer drug.

It's a cancer drug. Ick, ick ick! That alone comes with it's own list of complications. The list is so long it's atrocious to call it a medicine. I was having thoughts of my hair falling out, horrible GI symptoms, nausea, vomiting, dehydration, exhaustion, more anemia, constipation, diarrhea, skin turning pale, insomnia, cough, soreness, fever, chills, back pain, black tarry stools, bleeding, confusions, convulsions, seizures, blackening of nails, sores in the mouth, fatigue, itching, numbness & tingling. And that was just the stuff that didn't sound deadly.

I just really felt so scared to take it. It seemed like I would be putting poison in my body to try and rid me of this ailment. There had to be another way---there just had to be. Norio and I prayed fervently for some conviction before I even tried taking it and for some reason, the only one we got was a strong reaction NOT to take it.

I know that Hydrea has worked for some, and many will laud it's apparent helpfulness. But those two canisters sit at the back of my closet, untouched and unopened. This warrior has spoken.


raecatherine said...

You did your homework thoroughly...and an informed decision doesn't mean that you toss your intuition aside.

prince justice said...

I haven't heard of the drug, but in all my years of SS one thing that has kept me alive is making informed decisions. That's one drug to avoid thanks to you. I only take morphine from hospital and natural Nigerian remedies, like half cooked liver, the vegetable plant Ugu....
Prince Justice

cynthia said...

I have heard of this drug once and that is when the hemotologist ask me if I had ever taken it.He said we would try it only if there was no improvements on my stats.I am one of those who read from front to back.I must find out more about this drug as well,cause I know they want me to try this drug this year.I think my appt, is in July or August(soon).Until reading this post by you,I had no idea and I know I wouldn't be able to handle those side effects.I will try and find info from the net and the library.I have to be informed before my next appt.Thank you so very much for this blogspace.I am learning in the last few years so very much more than I have ever known about scd and the meds that is suppose to help.....somewhat.luv and hugggs

Charles Agboh said...

I took their drugs Hydroxyurea for 1.3 years. In the morning, I often felt like I just got out of a car wreck. But, it worked. I am no longer taking it and I rarely have crisis so I think it had a prolong effect. Also, I heard that it si good for managing "silent" strokes which can only be detected with MRI. Another Drug I have heard of is Jobelyn ( herb from nigeria ). The reduction in crisis or lack thereof does not mean you are out of the woods. As you get older, the repetitive crisis that you endured will have its toll so its absolute important that you eat well (vegetarian - I don't eat meat/fish or egg or anything toxic like that) well, avoid infections (floss, wash hands wherever you go) and exercise on top of you meds. For rejuvenating your body or cells/, a raw vegan diet is best.

Charles Agboh said...

http://www.sicklecelldisease.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=11184 - ohm yeah. Also meditate, you can suppress anxieties and fears if you meditate well.