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Bacillus of calmette and guerin vaccine, live (By injection)

Bacillus of Calmette and Guerin (ba-SILL-us of Kal-met and GER-in)

Prevents tuberculosis (TB). This medicine is a vaccine, and is also called BCG vaccine.

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You or your child should not receive this shot if you have a weak immune system for any reason. You should not receive this shot if you have an allergy to BCG vaccine. You or your child should not receive this shot if you have a disease known as HIV or AIDS. You should not receive this shot if you have a severe skin disease or skin infection.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin.
  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.
  • This medicine can be given to a baby, a young child, or an adult.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • This medicine may interfere with vaccines. Ask your doctor before you get a flu shot or any other vaccines.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast feeding.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you have ever had a bad reaction to BCG vaccine.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you or your child have a disease that weakens the immune system.
  • Tell your doctor about any person that you live with who has a weak immune system.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Extreme fussiness, crying, or discomfort in a young child.
  • High fever, chills, or vomiting.
  • Infection, swelling, or severe pain where the shot was given.
  • Severe headache, drowsiness, or body aches.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Large red sore on your skin where the shot was given.
  • Mild fever or a very sore arm that lasts more than a few days.
  • Pain in your joints.
  • Pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under the skin where the shot was given.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 5/1/2020

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