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Avatar universal

Is interferon a form of chemo therapy?

The other question i meant to ask is whether interferon is a form of chemotherapy or not?
36 Responses
179856 tn?1333550962
Its a chemical therapy and sometimes we use the word chemotherapy to explain it to people who dont understand what we are going through (or we don't want to tell them exactly) but if you ask anyone who has ever done both - they will tell you no it's nothing like real chemo at all.

So don't be scared of it that way.......its no where near the same.
Avatar universal
Some people prefer calling it chemotherapy.  I prefer calling it antiviral therapy.  I've experienced the effects of antiviral therapy myself and taken care of a family member who has undergone chemotherapy and antiviral therapy was a walk in the park compared to what they went through with chemotherapy.

956931 tn?1271639769
Hi Lynne.

There are several websites that say "yes" Interferon IS a chemotherapy drug. But I think it refers more to the "class" of the drug as it is not at all like traditional chemotherapy for cancer patients. Methotrexate for rheumatoid arthritis is a chemotherapy drug. There are many of them, and while they all have some similar side effects, some are not as harsh and everyone reacts differently to different drugs.

Hope this helps.
Avatar universal
I wouldn't call interferon and riba chemo therapy. interferon boosts your immune system and chemo destroys tumors and cells along with a lot of healthy cells in a person's body. From the people I have known who experienced chemo for cancer it is much more devastating to one's body.

I suppose if you use the term chemo interchangeably with chemical therapy you could say any medication is chemo.
- David

1225178 tn?1318984204
interferon boosts your immune system and chemo destroys tumors and cells along with a lot of healthy cells in a person's body

Something is attacking my RBCs, WBCs and platelets... they used to be healthy cells. Actually, since they are all made in the bone marrow, maybe it is the bone marrow thatt is being attacked. Plus... my hair roots are being attacked because my hair is falling out.

I call it a mild form of chemo therapy. Like Nygirl says, it does make it a lot easier to explain to people who have no idea what we are talking about.

Avatar universal
The definition of chemotherapy is using drugs to treat a disease. So technically HCV treatment is chemotherapy. However, most people use the term of chemotherapy to mean treating cancer with drugs. The connotation it brings to mind is one of of harsh drugs causing severe nausea and baldness. Like nygirl, I prefer calling it anti-viral therapy as it doesn't scare new patients away. And it is not as harsh as drug tereatment for cancer.
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