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Can hydroxyurea lead to complications if taken during pregnancy?

Q: I am 22 years old and suffering from sickle ß-thalassaemia. I have been on treatment of hydroxyurea for nearly two years. I read an article on hydroxyurea consent for patients with sickle cell. I understand that there is huge risk for an unborn child during pregnancy. I missed my cycle last month and have tested and found serum beta hCG to be positive today. I am scared that the conception occurred during the treatment and I had stopped taking the medicine from the day I missed. What is the affect of this treatment during pregnancy? What are the chances of me delivering a normal baby? What things should I look for while taking a blood test?

A:Hydroxyurea is documented fetotoxic in animals. Data on use during human pregnancy is limited. Clinical reports in humans show that the potential of fetal adverse effects is not very high, especially in first trimester exposures. No major malformation is described in first trimester exposures. There are reports of increased risk of intrauterine growth retardation and premature infants mainly in second trimester use (Majority of reported patients were on Hydroxyurea due to Myeloproliferative disorders, hence these complications can be due to mothers primary condition rather than due to use of Hydroxyurea). My opinion is that such accidental first trimester exposure should not be an indication for termination of pregnancy.

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