How is sickle cell disease treated?

Treatment of sickle cell disease depends upon the symptoms a person is experiencing. Treatment includes early diagnosis, health promotion, and symptom prevention. Some medicines that can be used to treat sickle cell disease include:

  • Pain medications, including opioids and anti-inflammatory medicines.
  • Antibiotics.
  • Hydroyurea (e.g., Hydrea®and Droxia®).
  • Iron chelation therapy ( Desferal®, Jadenu®, Exjade®).
  • Folic acid.
  • Anticonvulsants such as gabapentin.

Bone marrow transplant is a treatment modality that offers a cure for sickle cell disease. However, due to several complications that could occur, it is only offered to patients who have had serious complications from sickle cell disease.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/24/2016.


  • National Library of Medicine. Genetics Home Reference. Sickle Cell Disease. Accessed 11/10/2016.
  • National Marrow Donor Program. Sickle Cell Disease Accessed 11/10/2016
  • Williams-Johnson J, Williams E. Sickle Cell Disease and Hereditary Hemolytic Anemias. In: Tintinalli JE, Stapczynski J, Ma O, Yealy DM, Meckler GD, Cline DM. eds. Tintinalli’s Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide, 8e. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2016. Accessed 11/10/ 2016.

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