Generic Name: bacillus of calmette and guerin vaccine, live (Intravesical route)
ba-SILL-us of KAL-met and GARE-in VAX-een, lyve
Bacillus of Calmette and Guérin (BCG) infections have been reported in health care workers and in patients because of exposure to the vaccine during preparation and administration. Serious and fatal disseminated BCG infections have occurred with intravesical administration . Manifestations of disseminated infection may not develop for months or years after therapy as BCG may persist in the urinary tract for several months after treatment . TheraCys(R) and TICE(R) BCG contain live attenuated mycobacteria and because of the potential risk for transmission, they should be prepared, handled, and disposed of as a biohazard material .
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jul 12, 2019.
The TheraCys brand name has been discontinued in the U.S. If generic versions of this product have been approved by the FDA, there may be generic equivalents available.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
- Tice BCG
Available Dosage Forms:
- Powder for Suspension
Therapeutic Class: Vaccine
Uses for Theracys
Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is used as a solution that is run through a tube (instilled through a catheter) into the bladder to treat bladder cancer. The exact way it works against cancer is not known, but it may work by stimulating the body's immune system.
BCG is to be administered only by or under the immediate supervision of your doctor.
Before using Theracys
There is no specific information comparing use of BCG for treatment of cancer in children with use in other age groups.
This medicine has been tested and has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
- Antithymocyte Globulin Rabbit
- Axicabtagene Ciloleucel
- Certolizumab Pegol
- Cytarabine Liposome
- Daunorubicin Citrate Liposome
- Daunorubicin Liposome
- Gemtuzumab Ozogamicin
- Interferon Alfa
- Irinotecan Liposome
- Mycophenolic Acid
- Paclitaxel Protein-Bound
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Other medical problems
- Fever—Infection may be present and could cause problems
- Immunity problems—BCG treatment is less effective and there is a risk of infection
- Urinary tract infection—Infection and irritation of the bladder may occur
Proper use of Theracys
This section provides information on the proper use of a number of products that contain bacillus of calmette and guerin vaccine, live. It may not be specific to Theracys. Please read with care.
Your doctor will ask you to empty your bladder completely before the solution is instilled into it.
Follow your doctor's instructions carefully about how long to hold the solution in your bladder:
- The solution should be held in your bladder for 2 hours. If you think you cannot hold it, tell your health care professional.
- During the first hour, your doctor may have you lie for 15 minutes each on your stomach, back, and each side.
- When you do empty your bladder, you should be sitting down.
It is important that you drink extra fluids for several hours after each treatment with BCG so that you will pass more urine. Also, empty your bladder frequently. This will help prevent bladder problems.
BCG is a live product. In other words, it contains active bacteria that can cause infection. Some bacteria will be present for several hours in urine that you pass after each treatment with BCG. Any urine that you pass during the first 6 hours after each treatment should be disinfected with an equal amount (usually about 1 cup) of undiluted household bleach. After the bleach is added to the urine, it should be allowed to sit for 15 minutes before it is flushed. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.
Precautions while using Theracys
While you are being treated with BCG, and for 6 to 12 weeks after you stop treatment with it, avoid contact with people who have tuberculosis. If you think you have been exposed to someone with tuberculosis, tell your doctor.
While you are being treated with BCG and for a few weeks after you stop treatment with it, do not have any immunizations (vaccinations) without your doctor's approval.
Theracys side effects
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- Blood in urine
- fever and chills
- frequent urge to urinate
- increased frequency of urination
- joint pain
- nausea and vomiting
- painful urination (severe or continuing)
- skin rash
- Burning during first urination after treatment
After you stop using this medicine, it may still produce some side effects that need attention. During this period of time, check with your doctor immediately if you notice the following side effects:
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