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Clinical outcomes of hydroxyurea therapy in the management of sickle cell disease in a tertiary health facility in Southern Nigeria

P.T. Osahon
E.A. Urom


Hydroxyurea was the first prophylactic drug used for sickle cell disease management because it lowers the frequency and severity of vaso- occlusive crises. It increases hemoglobin which carries oxygen round the body by prolonging red blood cell life span, hydration, rheology (of?) and normalizes elevated white blood cells. Hydroxyurea reduces the need for hospitalization and blood transfusion in children and adult sickle cell patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of hydroxyurea in the management of sickle cell patients in a study population. A descriptive cross-sectional study design was adopted using a sample of 59 patients with sickle cell disease receiving hydroxyurea at the Quality Control Unit of the Pharmacy Department of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City. The questionnaire was both interviewer- and self-administered, and responses were entered and analyzed using Microsoft Excel. Results were represented as frequencies and percentages. Ethical considerations were observed. About 81.4% of the patients recruited were presently being treated with hydroxyurea, 45.8% were females and 50% were within 5 – 14 years of age. About 67.9% of patients using hydroxyurea had no pain crises, 83.0% had on blood transfusion in the last one year. Self- reported health improvement was high (75.5%) and 90.6% of the patients attested to the effectiveness of hydroxyurea. It can thus be concluded that hydroxyurea reduced the frequency of pain crises, hospitalization and blood transfusion among SCD patients. Morbidity and mortality associated with sickle cell disease had been reduced among SCD patients in this health facility.

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eISSN: 1596-8499