Hydroxyurea Profile

Hydroxyurea (brand name: Hydrea) has been on the market as an anti-cancer drug for over 30 years.  Initially, it was used to treat some types of leukemia, as well as ovarian cancer and sickle cell anemia.  However, it has recently been shown to have powerful anti-retroviral properties.  The results of initial testing in HIV infected patients have been very exciting.

A caveat:
    While this data is very exciting, it is not yet clear whether the anti-viral effects observed in vitro will be as profound in patients.  Most of the clinical studies conducted thus far had very small sample sizes and involved patients with low viral loads initially.  Finally, as Hydroxyurea suppresses T cell maturation, it is unlikely that this will be an effective treatment of patients with end-stage HIV infection.

For information that is slightly dated (1998-1999) but very thorough, see:

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