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Tice Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

Last reviewed on RxList 4/21/2016

Tice BCG Live is an attenuated, live culture preparation of the Bacillus of Calmette and Guerin (BCG) strain of Mycobacterium bovis bacteria used to treat bladder cancer that is localized (has not spread to other parts of the body). Tice BCG vaccine may be available in generic form. Common side effects of Tice BCG vaccine include:

  • nausea
  • stomach pain
  • loss of appetite
  • bladder or groin pain
  • urine leakage or incontinence
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • headache
  • skin rash
  • dizziness
  • tired feeling, or
  • tissue particles in your urine (not blood)

The dose for the intravesical treatment of carcinoma in situ and for the prophylaxis of recurrent papillary tumors consists of one vial of Tice BCG suspended in 50 ml preservative-free saline. Tice BCG may interact with antibiotics, cancer medicine or radiation, cyclosporine, sirolimus, tacrolimus, basiliximab, efalizumab, muromonab-CD3, mycophenolate mofetil, azathioprine, leflunomide, etanercept, or steroids. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Tice BCG may be harmful to a fetus. Before you receive Tice BCG, tell your doctor if you are pregnant. Use birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Our Tice BCG Live Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is Patient Information in Detail?

Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.

Tice in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Report any side effects to your doctor. Some side effects may be serious, including:

  • 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).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Tice (Bacillus of Calmette and Guerin)

What is Prescribing information?

The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.

Tice FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
(Adverse Reactions)


Symptoms of bladder irritability, related to the inflammatory response induced, are reported in approximately 60% of patients receiving TICE® BCG. The symptoms typically begin 4-6 hours after instillation and last 24-72 hours. The irritative side effects are usually seen following the third instillation, and tend to increase in severity after each administration.

The irritative bladder adverse effects can usually be managed symptomatically with products such as pyridium, propantheline bromide, oxybutynin chloride and acetaminophen. The mechanism of action of the irritative side effects has not been firmly established, but is most consistent with an immunological mechanism.3 There is no evidence that dose reduction or antituberculous drug therapy can prevent or lessen the irritative toxicity of TICE® BCG.

“Flu-like” symptoms (malaise, fever, and chills) which may accompany the localized, irritative toxicities often reflect hypersensitivity reactions which can be treated symptomatically. Antihistamines have also been used.5

Adverse reactions to TICE® BCG tend to be progressive in frequency and severity with subsequent instillation. Delay or postponement of subsequent treatment may or may not reduce the severity of a reaction during subsequent instillation.

Although uncommon, serious infectious complications of intravesical BCG have been reported.2,3,6 The most serious infectious complication of BCG is disseminated sepsis with associated mortality. In addition, M. bovis infections have been reported in lung, liver, bone, bone marrow, kidney, regional lymph nodes, and prostate in patients who have received intravesical BCG. Some male genitourinary tract infections (orchitis/epididymitis) have been resistant to multiple drug antituberculous therapy and required orchiectomy.

If a patient develops persistent fever or experiences an acute febrile illness consistent with BCG infection, BCG treatment should be discontinued and the patient immediately evaluated and treated for systemic infection (see WARNINGS).

The local and systemic adverse reactions reported in a review of 674 patients with superficial bladder cancer, including 153 patients with carcinoma in situ, are summarized in Table V.


Adverse Event N Overall (Grade ≥ 3) Adverse Event N Overall (Grade ≥ 3)
Dysuria 401 60% (11%) Arthritis/Myalgia 18 3% ( < 1%)
Urinary Frequency 272 40% (7%) Headache/Dizziness 16 2% (0)
Flu-Like Syndrome 224 33% (9%) Urinary Incontinence 16 2% (0)
Hematuria 175 26% (7%) Anorexia/Weight Loss 15 2% ( < 1%)
Fever 134 20% (8%) Urinary Debris 15 2% ( < 1%)
Malaise/Fatigue 50 7% (0) Allergy 14 2% ( < 1%)
Cystitis 40 6% (2%) Cardiac (Unclassified) 13 2% (1%)
Urgency 39 6% (1%) Genital Inflammation/Abscess 12 2% ( < 1%)
Nocturia 30 5% (1%)
Cramps/Pain 27 4% (1%) Respiratory (Unclassified) 11 2% ( < 1%)
Rigors 22 3% (1%) Urinary Tract Infection 10 2% (1%)
Nausea/Vomiting 20 3% ( < 1%) Abdominal Pain 10 2% (1%)

The following adverse events were reported in ≤ 1% of patients: anemia, BCG sepsis, coagulopathy, contracted bladder, diarrhea, epididymitis/prostatitis, hepatic granuloma, hepatitis, leukopenia, neurologic (unclassified), orchitis, pneumonitis, pyuria, rash, thrombocytopenia, urethritis, and urinary obstruction.

In SWOG study 8795, toxicity evaluations were available on a total of 222 TICE® BCG-treated patients and 220 MMC-treated patients. Direct bladder toxicity (cramps, dysuria, frequency, urgency, hematuria, hemorrhagic cystitis, or incontinence) was seen more often with TICE® BCG, with 356 events compared to 234 events for MMC. Grade ≤ 2 toxicity was seen significantly more frequently following TICE® BCG treatment (p=0.003). No life-threatening toxicity was seen in either arm. Systemic toxicity with TICE® BCG was markedly increased compared to that of MMC, with 181 events for TICE® BCG compared to 80 for MMC. The frequency of toxicity was increased in all grades, particularly for grades 2 and 3. The most common complaints were malaise, fatigue and lethargy, fever, and abdominal pain. Thirty-two TICE® BCG patients were reported to have been treated with isoniazid. Five TICE® BCG patients had liver enzyme elevation, including two with grade 3 elevations. Eighteen of the 222 (8.1%) TICE® BCG patients failed to complete the prescribed protocol compared to 6.2% in the MMC group. Table VI summarizes the most common adverse reactions reported in this trial.7


Adverse Event StudyArm
(N = 222)
(N = 220)
All Grades Grade ≥ 3 All Grades Grade ≥ 3
Dysuria 115 (52%) 6 (3%) 77 (35%) 5 (2%)
Urgency/Frequency 112 (50%) 5 (2%) 63 (29%) 7 (3%)
Hematuria 85 (38%) 6 (3%) 56 (25%) 5 (2%)
Flu-Like Symptoms 54 (24%) 1 ( < 1%) 29 (13%) 0
Fever 37 (17%) 1 ( < 1%) 7 (3%) 0
Pain (Not Specified) 37 (17%) 4 (2%) 22 (10%) 1 ( < 1%)
Hemorrhagic Cystitis 19 (9%) 3 (1%) 10 (5%) 0
Chills 19 (9%) 0 2 (1%) 0
Bladder Cramps 18 (8%) 0 9 (4%) 0
Nausea 16 (7%) 0 12 (5%) 0
Incontinence 8 (4%) 0 3 (1%) 0
Myalgia/Arthralgia 7 (3%) 0 0 0
Diaphoresis 7 (3%) 0 1 ( < 1%) 0
Rash 6 (3%) 1 ( < 1%) 16 (7%) 2 (1%)
*The adverse reaction profile of TICE® BCG was similar in the Nijmegen study.8

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Tice (Bacillus of Calmette and Guerin)

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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