Medically reviewed on July 4, 2018
- The BCG in BCG (intravesical) is a type of bacteria. This medicine is given into the bladder. The BCG may stay in your urinary tract for some time after the drug is given. Sometimes, infections have happened after the use of BCG (intravesical). Rarely, these have been deadly. Talk with the doctor.
Uses of BCG:
- It is used to treat bladder cancer.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take BCG?
- If you have an allergy to BCG or any other part of BCG (intravesical).
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you have any of these health problems: Active TB (tuberculosis), blood in the urine, urinary tract infection (UTI), any infection, an illness with a fever, a weak immune system, or a disease that may cause a weak immune system like HIV.
- If you have or have ever had a BCG reaction.
- If you are getting other treatments like radiotherapy or chemo.
- If you are taking any drugs that suppress your immune system. There are many drugs that can do this. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
- If you have had any of these in the past 14 days: A biopsy, a procedure called transurethral resection (TUR), or damage to the urinary tract after a catheter has been placed.
- If you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with BCG (intravesical).
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take BCG (intravesical) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take BCG?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take BCG (intravesical). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- If you have a latex allergy, talk with your doctor.
- Take extra care with your urine for the first 6 hours after getting BCG (intravesical). Use the same toilet each time you use the bathroom at home. Sit down to urinate so your urine does not splash or spray.
- Before flushing, add an equal amount of bleach to the urine. Wait 15 minutes, then flush. Do this for the first 6 hours after BCG is given.
- It is fine to be around close contacts like household members, friends, and caregivers. However, do not allow anyone to come into contact with your urine.
- You may need a TB (tuberculosis) test before starting BCG (intravesical).
- This medicine may affect certain lab tests. Be sure your doctor and lab workers know you use BCG (intravesical).
- Use birth control that you can trust to prevent pregnancy while taking BCG (intravesical).
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using BCG (intravesical) while you are pregnant.
How is this medicine (BCG) best taken?
Use BCG (intravesical) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- It is given through a catheter into the bladder.
- You will need to try to keep BCG (intravesical) in your bladder for up to 2 hours, but no longer than 2 hours. This medicine will come out when you pass urine.
- Drink plenty of liquids that do not have caffeine for several hours after getting BCG (intravesical) unless told to drink less liquids by your doctor. This helps to get rid of the drug from your bladder.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Call your doctor to find out what to do.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
- Signs of lung or breathing problems like shortness of breath or other trouble breathing, cough, or fever.
- Worse pain or burning when passing urine or if these effects will not go away.
- Not able to pass urine or change in how much urine is passed.
- Blood in the urine.
- High fever over 103.1 degrees F or 39.5 degrees C for more than 12 hours.
- Mild fever over 101.3 degrees F or 38.5 degrees C for more than 48 hours.
- Very bad dizziness or passing out.
- Chest pain.
- Joint pain.
- Eye pain.
- Eye irritation.
- Eye redness.
- Throwing up.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
What are some other side effects of BCG?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Upset stomach.
- Not hungry.
- Many people using BCG (intravesical) have bladder irritation. It may start within a few hours after getting BCG (intravesical) and may last for 1 to 3 days. You may pass urine more often or feel the need to pass urine right away. Call your doctor if you have bladder irritation that bothers you or does not go away within 3 days.
- It is common to have burning or pain when passing urine, chills, flu-like signs, mild fever, tiredness, or weakness. If any of these signs last more than 2 days or get worse, call your doctor.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out BCG?
- If you need to store BCG (intravesical) at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about BCG (intravesical), please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about bcg
- Bcg Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- 1 Review
- Drug class: bacterial vaccines
- BCG Vaccine (Immunization)
- Bacillus of calmette and guerin vaccine, live Intradermal (Advanced Reading)
- Bacillus of calmette and guerin vaccine, live Intravesical (Advanced Reading)