Hydroxyurea therapy offers promise for ameliorating the clinical course of children with sickle cell disease (SCD). Hydroxyurea is a prototypic therapeutic option; it can be administered with minimal side effects, has a relatively wide therapeutic window, and has mechanisms of action that address pathophysiologic pathways of sickling, vaso-occlusion, hemolysis, and organ damage. There are limited data regarding hydroxyurea's ability to prevent or diminish organ dysfunction, and the long-term risks of hydroxyurea therapy remain incompletely defined. Although clinical trials are underway to address long-term issues, hydroxyurea remains an effective but underutilized therapy for SCD.
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