BCG vaccine

BCG ( Bacillus Calmette and Guerin) is a vaccine made up using the organisms of a bacteria .It is used to treat bladder cancer that has not spread to other parts of the body. When injected in the bladder it causes growth of certain white blood cells, which are know to be natural killers cells.

These killer cells will attack invading tumor cells in the bladder.

BCG side effects

If a person has the following symptoms: hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat, they should seek emergency medical help immediately. Any serious side effects should be reported to your doctor such as: fever, chills, cough, body aches, joint pain, weakness, vomiting, or other flu symptoms; nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes); pain or burning when you urinate; difficult urination; more frequent or urgent urinating; blood in your urine, lower back pain; pain or swelling in your testicles; easy bruising or bleeding; eye pain, redness, watering, severe burning or itching; or vision changes, increased sensitivity to light.

Less serious side effects may include: mild nausea, stomach pain, or loss of appetite; mild bladder or groin pain; urine leakage or incontinence; diarrhea, constipation; headache; mild skin rash; dizziness, tired feeling; or tissue particles in your urine (not blood).

You should not be treated with BCG is you are allergic to it or if you have tuberculosis, a fever, a bladder infection, blood in your urine, or a weak immune system (caused by certain drugs or disease such as AIDS, leukemia, or lymphoma).

You should tell you doctor the following this before receiving the BCG vaccine

1. If you’ve had a bladder biopsy, surgey or cathether in the past 14 days

2. If you have myasthenia gravis, a pacemaker or other artificial heart device, an artificial joint or other prosthetic, or any other infection).

3. If you have ever had tuberculosis, bypass surgery or aneurism

4. If you currently need to have a organ transplant ( liver, kidney, heart)

5. If you are using steroids or receiving chemotherapy or radiation treatments

A dose adjustment or special test may be required if you have any of the previous conditions.

If you require treatments with antibiotics for something, treatment with BCG may be put on hold, because it can make it less effective. This should be discussed with your doctor.

BCG treatment

The BCG is a liquid mixture that is inserted directly into the gall bladder through a tube inserted in the urethra. It is given once every 6 weeks, and they 3 to 6 months for up to 2 years. After you have received the medication it is recommended that you take it is, to help the medicine remain inside for as long as possible. For up to 6 hours after the treatment the medicine will be present in the urine. Using a toilet instead of a urinal is recommened to stop the spread of bacteria.

After urinating, the toilet must be disinfecteg using bleach. The amount of bleach must be proportional to the amount urinated. It should be flushed after letting it sit for 15 minutes.

Drinking fluids after receiving BCG is necessary to flush out your bladder.

If you are treated with BCG, it may cause certain test results to be faulty. You must tell the doctor that treats you that you are receiving BCG treatment.

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