Munson Health
Medications for Sickle Cell Disease

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by Carson-DeWitt R
The information provided here is meant to give you a general idea about each of the medications listed below. Only the most general side effects are included, so ask your health care provider if you need to take any special precautions. Use each of these medications only as recommended by your health care provider, and according to the instructions provided. If you have further questions about usage or side effects, contact your health care provider.
There are no medications to cure sickle cell disease. Instead, medications are given to treat symptoms and complications, improve the body’s ability to fight infection, and boost the body’s production of red blood cells.

Prescription Medications

  • Indomethacin
  • Ketorolac
  • Ibuprofen
  • Naproxen
  • Cotanal-65
  • Demerol
  • Dolophine
  • MS Contin
  • OxyContin

Over-the-Counter Medications

Prescription Medications

Hydroxyurea affects your immune system. While you are taking it, don’t get any immunizations without reminding your healthcare provider that you are taking this drug.
Possible side effects include:
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased chance of infection


Sickle cell disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: . Updated June 6, 2013. Accessed July 1, 2013.

Sickle cell disease. Nemours' website. Available at: . Updated September 2012. Accessed July 1, 2013.

Sickle cell disease (SCD). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: . Updated September 27, 2012. Accessed July 1, 2013.

What is sickle cell anemia? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: . Updated September 28, 2012. Accessed July 1, 2013.


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