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How do medications treat sickle cell anemia?

Hydroxyurea is a medication used to treat sickle cell anemia. It increases the amount of a healthy type of hemoglobin protein in red blood cells. This causes more normal shaped cells that do not impede blood flow. However, long term use of hydroxyurea has been linked with leukemia or tumors. Your doctor can best asses your risks for this type of medication. Over the counter medication is also used to control the pain in the chest, abdomen, and joints.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.