Drugs for Adult Sickle Cell Anemia, Effective Among Children

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Children population is considered one of the most vulnerable groups as far as health care is concerned. That is especially observable in many hospitals and health clinics where special considerations are to be executed when caring for children who are suffering from a specific disease. Certain considerations must be considered especially when administering medications to a child. The amount and potency of the medication should be fit to the body and capability of the child to tolerate the medications being administered.

For these reasons, there are certain medications which are made only for adults and some medications made only for children. However, there are also medications which are good for both age groups. Recently, according to a new study, drugs which used to treat sickle cell anemia for adults known as hydroxyurea can also be beneficial to children.

Sickle cell anemia is a disease which has affectations on the red blood cells produced in the body. The problem lies on the production of red blood cells with an abnormal form which is a crescent or sickle in form. Because these red blood cells are produced in an abnormal shape, its life span is shorter as compared to the normal red blood cells. Hence, these can lead to anemia; furthermore, having a sickle cell RBC can also lead to obstruction in blood vessels causing pain and damage of the organ.

The findings of the new study were scheduled to be presented Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology in San Diego. Thus, data presented at medical meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

The new study involved the analysis and examination of data gathered form about 200 babies who are suffering from sickle cell anemia. These babies belong to the age group between 9 and 18 months. The study participants were randomly assigned to receive either the drug hydroxyurea or a placebo.

Moreover, researchers found out that those babies who were under the hydroxyurea treatment had showed lesser pain issues, blood transfusions and hospital confinements. A follow up study was done including the 176 children who actually completed the at least 18 months of the previous study. In the current study, about 133 parents chose that their babies be treated with hydroxyurea. Results revealed that children under the drug treatment had fewer fever illness as compared to other children.




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