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Can hydroxyurea help treat polycythemia vera (PV)?

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Hydroxyurea is a cancer drug that slows down the growth of new cells in your body. In PV, it lowers the number of red blood cells and platelets, which are cells that help blood clot. If you take this drug, you may not need a treatment called phlebotomy. Hydroxyurea can also prevent or treat an enlarged spleen -- a complication of PV.

SOURCES:

Cancer Care: "Treatment Update: Polycythemia Vera."

FDA: "Aspirin for Reducing Your Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke: Know the Facts."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Polycythemia Vera."

Macmillan Cancer Support: "Interferon alpha."

Medscape: "Polycythemia Vera."

MPN Research Foundation: "What is Polycythemia Vera?"

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "How is Polycythemia Vera Treated?"

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy on December 26, 2017

SOURCES:

Cancer Care: "Treatment Update: Polycythemia Vera."

FDA: "Aspirin for Reducing Your Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke: Know the Facts."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Polycythemia Vera."

Macmillan Cancer Support: "Interferon alpha."

Medscape: "Polycythemia Vera."

MPN Research Foundation: "What is Polycythemia Vera?"

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "How is Polycythemia Vera Treated?"

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy on December 26, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

What are side effects of hydroxyurea for polycythemia vera (PV)?

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