My doctor recently put me on Hydroxyurea. I was hesitant taking it because of the long term side effect of leukemia, but in the end I took it. I've been on it since May, and since May I still was getting sick and in the hospital. Then my doctor increased my dosage. My boss is from Nigeria and told me about Nicosan, Ive never heard of it before, so I started to read about it and that's how I found you. What do you think about Nicosan and Hydroxyurea?
First of all Jay, let me correct your misconception. Hydroxyurea (or Hydrea) was used primarily for the treatment of myeloproliferative (cellular abnormality) diseases like leukemia. The problem is that this treatment might trigger another rapid cell growth (which is a cancer pre-cursor).
Personally I would never take Hydroxyurea, although several people have told me that it works for them. Nicosan is my drug of choice and it's been treating me very, very well. I'm going to break the pros and cons of both of them down just so you get a better picture.
- Adjunct chemotherapy drug (don't know about you, but I'm anti-cancer anything!)
- Method of action: increases production of fetal hemoglobin cells by increasing nitric oxide levels (so pretty much, you can just take a soluble form of nitric oxide and cut out the hydrea altogether. Look up L-Arginine)
- Very toxic to the liver and kidneys. Causes bone marrow suppression
- Needs regular blood monitoring to check your platelet, BUN, liver enzymes and CBC levels
- Long term use hasn't been fully studied..who knows what will happen for those that have been on it for 10 years?
- It is shown to reduce your rate of crises by 30% after you've been on it for 6-12 months.
- Causes fertility problems in men and crosses the placental barrier in women, so you MUST not get pregnant or nurse while on it or you will have a jacked up baby
- The side effects are atrocious and range from hair loss, loss of appetite, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, stomatitis, mucositis, anorexia....the list is practically endless. I've never talked to anyone that hasn't exhibited at least one side effect.
- Has FDA approval although the pharmaceutical company keeps announcing that "the benefits outweigh the risks". (*rolleyes*)
- #9 means that your insurance will pay for it and all you have is the $5-20 copay. If you don't have insurance, it ranges from $80-$200 depending on your dosage.
- Natural and herbal. A combination of 3 herbs: Piper guineenses seeds, Pterocapus osum stem, Eugenia caryophyllum fruit and Sorghum bicolor leaves.
- Method of action: initiates an anti-sickling effect. The cells you do have won't assume their sickle shape. This means no crises---yay!
- Naturally processed through the body. Doesn't damage your organs in any way.
- No extra blood monitoring needed besides your usual H&H levels
- Long term use hasn't been studied---but all these herbs have been used in African countries for thousands of years.
- Reduces the rate of crises by 80% after you've been on it for 30-90 days.
- Only side effect is flushing (blushing) due to increased blood circulation. Most people (like me) don't even exhibit this.
- Has orphan drug status in the US although it's fully approved in Nigeria. The only thing holding up FDA approval is the big pharmaceutical companies that want a cut of the pie. Since they don't own the patent, they can't charge you outrageously for it. The company that makes Hydroxyurea would loss their advantage in the field. They would rather us all suffer while they block the drug from being approved and keep lining their pockets.
- #6 means you will have to buy it out of pocket and order it from Nigeria until the FDA lets it be sold in the US under the phytochemical name of Hemoxin.
- If you are paying out of pocket and shipping from abroad, it's pricier than Hydrea but this stuff actually works! 1 bottle of 30 pills costs around $60.00 and this includes shipping.
For more information, read the tabs of the two drugs in the sidebar under File Cabinet. Good luck with your decision. Stay strong, stay positive and stay blessed!