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Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) Vaccine

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Why is this medicine prescribed?

The BCG vaccine offers protection or immunity from tuberculosis (TB). Those who are at a high risk of contracting TB may receive the vaccine. Additionally, bladder cancer or tumours are treated with it.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you’re interested in using this drug for any other conditions.

How should this medicine be used?

This medication will be given to you by your doctor or another medical professional. It is injected beneath the skin when used to prevent TB. After receiving the immunisation, keep the region dry for 24 hours and clean until you cannot distinguish the vaccination area from the skin around it.

The medication enters your bladder through a tube or catheter when used to treat bladder cancer. Drink nothing for four hours prior to your treatment. Before receiving treatment, you should empty your bladder. You will spend the first hour after the drug is infused lying for 15 minutes on your stomach, back, and sides. The drug should stay in your bladder for an additional hour before you stand up. Inform your healthcare practitioner if you are unable to retain the medication in your bladder for the whole two hours. For safety reasons, you must empty your bladder while seated after two hours. After taking the drug, your urine needs to be cleaned for six hours. After you urinate, put an equal amount of undiluted bleach in the bathroom. Before flushing, let it stand for 15 minutes.

Different dosage regimens can be applied. Your therapy will be scheduled by your doctor. Any instructions you don’t understand, ask your doctor to explain.

The TB vaccination is often administered just once, but it may be given again if a positive response is not seen in 2-3 months. A TB skin test is used to gauge response.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before receiving BCG vaccine,

  • If you have any medicine or BCG vaccination allergies, let your doctor and pharmacist know right away.
  • Inform your doctor and pharmacist about all prescription and over-the-counter drugs you are taking, including any antibiotics, cancer chemotherapeutic drugs, steroids, or vitamins.
  • Inform your doctor if you recently received a smallpox vaccination or a positive TB test.
  • Inform your doctor if you suffer from an immunological condition, cancer, a fever, an infection, or a body part with serious burns.
  • Inform your doctor if you are expecting, intend to get pregnant, or are nursing a baby. When taking the BCG vaccine and finding out you are pregnant, call your doctor right away.

What side effects can this medicine cause?

BCG vaccine adverse effects are possible. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:

  • An enlarged lymph node
  • Tiny red spots right where the injection was made. (These typically occur 10–14 days after injection and gradually get smaller. After roughly six months, they should vanish.)
  • Fever
  • Urine with blood in it
  • Uncomfortable or frequent urination
  • Uneasy stomach
  • Vomiting

Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Severely itchy skin
  • Breathing or swallowing challenges
  • Wheezing

What should I do in case of overdose?

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

What other information should I know?

Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab.

Brand names

  • TheraCys® BCG
  • TICE® BCG
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