Singer Natalie Cole, who was diagnosed with Hepatitis C, was recently hospitalized due to complications related to chemotherapy treatments according to People magazine.
Cole was in NYC promoting her just-released new album, Still Unforgettable, when she experienced a “set back,” and had to be hospitalized, according to a family member.
Last week, Cole visited the set of “Entertainment Tonight” where she talked about her disease, saying, “This is a virus that was dormant in my body for 25 years. I had no symptoms, was feeling great, working out like a crazy person — and this just keeled me over, like a feather… What I have is treated with chemo… every week.”
However, chemotherapy is a treatment for cancer, not Hepatitis C. So why would Cole be receiving chemotherapy treatments, you ask?
The answer is the antiviral medication she’s taking can be referred to as chemotherapy, although technically, they aren’t classified as chemotherapy drugs.
The current treatment for Hepatitis C includes 2 drugs — Interferon and Ribaviran, both antiviral medications.
Interferon helps the immune system by inhibiting viral replication inside host cells — similar to what chemotherapy does by targeting fast dividing cells. Interferon is also prescribed for patients with HIV as well as Hepatitis B and C.
The other drug is Ribavirin – an antiviral med which only works in combination with Interferon. Both drugs can cause similar side effects to those caused by chemotherapy, such as hair loss, nausea and vomiting — which can lead to severe dehydration requiring hospitalization.
Cole is expected to be released from the hospital soon. She will return home to begin her “month-long bed rest,” the singer’s reps tell People magazine. (Source)