It is used to treat sickle cell disease.
Mechanism of action:
It is found to promote the level of fetal hemoglobin resulting in the dilution of abnormal hemoglobin S (HbS). This may take a long time of up to many months. As a result slow polymerization of HbS occurs and painful conditions are not developed by the sickle cells which are blocking capillaries and causing inadequate supply of oxygen in tissues.
It is helpful in relieving pain of patients with sickle cell disease.
It is also used to cure chronic type of myelogenous leukemia and polycythemia vera.
It may cause suppression of bone marrow and inflammation of the vessels of the skin.