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BCG vaccine, live (PF) percutaneous


This vaccine is used to prevent tuberculosis (TB) in people who have not been infected with the disease but are at a high risk of getting it. This vaccine is not used to treat tuberculosis.

This vaccine contains live bacteria that have been weakened. It works by causing the body to produce its own protection (antibodies) against the bacteria that causes tuberculosis.

This form of the vaccine is not used to treat or prevent bladder cancer.

How to use BCG vaccine, live (PF) percutaneous

This vaccine is given by injection into the skin by a health care professional. It is usually given as a single dose in the upper arm area.

Dosage is based on your age.

Side Effects

Pain at the injection site or swollen lymph nodes may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

A small red bump may occur at the injection site. This bump will later crust and fall off 6 to 10 weeks later. A small, flat scar may remain.

Remember that your health care professional 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 right away if you have any serious side effects, including: skin sores/bumps, pus at injection site, bone pain, signs of infection (e.g., persistent fever).

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away 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 the 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 call the Vaccine Safety Section at Public Health Agency of Canada at 1-866-844-0018.


Before you receive this vaccine, tell the health care professional if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as monosodium glutamate, polysorbate 80, latex), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before receiving this vaccine, tell your health care professional your medical history, especially of: immune system problems (e.g., HIV, certain cancers such as leukemia/lymphoma), radiation treatment, burns or skin disease over large area of skin, positive tuberculin skin test, current infection/fever.

This vaccine is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Consult your doctor for more details.

It is unknown if this vaccine passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.


Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Some products that may interact with this vaccine include: antibiotics (such as drugs to treat tuberculosis including isoniazid, rifampin, ethambutol, pyrazinamide), drugs that weaken the immune system (such as abatacept, tacrolimus, cancer chemotherapy, corticosteroids such as prednisone), mefloquine.

Other vaccines may be given at the same time as this vaccine, but they should be given with separate syringes and at different injection sites. If the BCG vaccine cannot be given at the same time as other live vaccines, then it should be given at least 4 weeks later.

This vaccine may interfere with the tuberculin skin test, possibly causing false test results. Before having this skin test, make sure that the health care professional knows that you have received this vaccine.


Not applicable.


As with any vaccine, this vaccine may not fully protect everyone who receives it.

Keep vaccine records for yourself and all of your children, and provide them to their doctors and to your children after they are grown. This will prevent unnecessary re-vaccinations.

Missed Dose

Not applicable.


Store in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. Protect from light. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.

Information last revised March 2015. Copyright(c) 2015 First Databank, Inc.


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Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, expect as may be authorized by the applicable terms of use.

CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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