GENERIC NAME: BCG VACCINE - INTRAVESICAL
BRAND NAME(S): Theracys
WARNING: This medication contains live bacteria that have been weakened to decrease the chances of causing an illness. However, this medication has rarely caused very serious, possibly fatal infections. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any signs of infection (e.g., high/persistent fever).
USES: This medication is used to treat a certain type of bladder cancer (carcinoma in situ-CIS) and prevent it from returning. It is also used to prevent another type of bladder cancer (papillary tumor) from returning after surgery to remove it. This medication works by causing the body's defense system (immune system) to become more active.This form of the medication is not used to prevent tuberculosis.
HOW TO USE: This medication is given into the bladder through a tube (catheter) by a health care professional as directed by your doctor. This medication is usually given weekly for the first 6 weeks and then less often thereafter as directed by your doctor.Do not drink any fluids for 4 hours before treatment. The medication is left in the bladder for up to 2 hours and then released by urinating. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. There may be some burning pain when you first urinate. Since the urine contains live bacteria that may infect you or others, you must sit down to urinate for 6 hours after treatment to avoid splashing of the urine. After each time you urinate during this 6-hour period, pour household bleach (about the same amount of bleach as the amount of urine) into the toilet, then wait 15 minutes before flushing. Always wash your hands afterward. Talk to your doctor about other important things you must do to prevent infection.Drink plenty of fluids after your first urination unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Doing so helps clear the medication from your body.
SIDE EFFECTS: Bladder irritation (e.g., difficult/painful/frequent/bloody urination), fever, or chills may occur. High/persistent fever may be a sign of an infection. Tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly if any of these effects occur, persist, or worsen. Your doctor may prescribe additional medications to help control these symptoms. Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or diarrhea may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: muscle/joint pain, pain/swelling of the testes, unusual tiredness, fast/pounding heartbeat, shortness of breath, cough, vision changes, redness/swelling/pain in the eye, eye sensitivity to light, severe stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing skin/eyes.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.Contact your doctor for medical advice about side effects. The following numbers do not provide medical advice, but in the US, you may report side effects to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) at 1-800-822-7967. In Canada, you may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
PRECAUTIONS: Before receiving this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as latex), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: immune system problems (e.g., HIV, certain cancers such as leukemia/lymphoma), radiation treatment, current infection/fever (e.g., bladder infection, active tuberculosis), injury/procedure in the bladder within the last 7 days (e.g., catheterization, biopsy, signs of bloody urine).Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: certain blood vessel disease (aneurysm), man-made medical devices/parts in the body (e.g., pacemakers, artificial joints, arterial grafts).During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. It is recommended that women receiving this medication avoid pregnancy. Consult your doctor for more details and to discuss using at least 2 reliable forms of birth control (e.g., condoms, birth control pills) while receiving this medication. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor immediately.It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious interactions may occur: antibiotics (e.g., isoniazid, rifampin, penicillins such as amoxicillin, macrolides such as erythromycin), drugs that weaken the immune system (e.g., abatacept, efalizumab, corticosteroids such as prednisone, cancer chemotherapy), mefloquine.If you are currently using any of these medications listed above, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting BCG vaccine.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use.This medication may interfere with the tuberculosis (TB) skin test, possibly causing false test results. If a skin test is needed, it is recommended that patients finish it before treatment.This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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Related Disease Conditions
Bladder Infection (Cystitis)
Bladder infection is an infection of the bladder, usually caused by bacteria or, rarely, by Candida. Certain people, including females, the elderly, men with enlarged prostates, and those with chronic medical conditions are at increased risk for bladder infection. Bladder infections are treated with antibiotics, but cranberry products and adequate hydration may help prevent bladder infections.
Treatment for bladder cancer depends on the stage of the disease, the grade of the tumor, and the type of bladder cancer. Options for treatment include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and biological therapy.
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