Generic Name: bcg live (BCG)
Brand Name: TheraCys
BCG live contains live bacteria. It must be prepared, handled, and disposed of as biohazard material.
Serious and sometimes fatal infections have been reported by patients receiving BCG live. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
BCG live is used for:
Treating and preventing certain types of bladder cancer.
BCG live is a strain of bacteria. Exactly how it works is not known. It is thought to stimulate the immune system.
Do NOT use BCG live if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in BCG live
- you have a fever caused by illness, a urinary tract infection, or a large amount of blood in the urine
- you have a weakened immune system, which may be caused by disease (eg, HIV or AIDS, leukemia, lymphoma), cancer treatment (eg, chemotherapy, radiation therapy), or medicines that weaken the immune system (eg, corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone)
- you have active tuberculosis (TB), a severe infection (eg, sepsis), or any other active infection
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using BCG live:
Some medical conditions may interact with BCG live. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances, including rubber or latex
- if you have recently received or will be receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy
- if you have had urinary tract surgery, have had a urinary tract biopsy, or have used a catheter within the last 14 days
- if you have had an arterial aneurysm or have a prosthetic device (eg, arterial grafts, cardiac devices, artificial joints)
- if you have myasthenia gravis or are waiting for an organ transplant
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with BCG live. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Cancer treatments (eg, chemotherapy, radiation therapy) or medicines that weaken the immune system (eg, corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone) because the risk of serious, life-threatening infections is increased. Ask your doctor if you are unsure if any of your medicines may weaken the immune system
- Antibiotics (eg, penicillin) because they may decrease BCG live's effectiveness
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if BCG live may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use BCG live:
Use BCG live as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- BCG live is usually administered by catheter through the urinary tract at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
- Fluid intake should be increased in order to "flush" the bladder in the hours following treatment with BCG live unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.
- Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
- Do not use BCG live if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
- Lay down on your front for the first 15 minutes after receiving BCG live. You may then sit up, but try to retain BCG live for as long as possible for up to 2 hours. After 2 hours, you may urinate in a seated position. You should sit down whenever you urinate for 6 hours after treatment.
- Dilute all urine for up to 6 hours after receiving BCG live with an equal amount of household bleach. Wait 15 minutes before flushing.
- If you miss a dose of BCG live, contact your doctor right away.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use BCG live.
Important safety information:
- BCG live may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take BCG live before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- BCG live may interfere with certain lab tests, including TB skin tests. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are using BCG live.
- BCG live should not be used in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using BCG live while you are pregnant. It is not known if BCG live is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking BCG live.
Possible side effects of BCG live:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Diarrhea; frequent or urgent urination; loss of appetite; nausea; tiredness.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blood in urine; burning or pain when urinating; decreased urination; eye pain, irritation, or redness; flu-like symptoms or other symptoms of infection (eg, fever, chills, cough, sore throat); increased urgency or frequent urination; joint or muscle aches or pain; loss of bladder control; severe or persistent bladder pain or spasms; shortness of breath; trouble urinating; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness; vomiting; yellowing of the skin or eyes.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.Proper storage of BCG live:
BCG live is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. Keep BCG live out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about BCG live, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- BCG live is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take BCG live or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about BCG live. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to BCG live. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using BCG live.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.