There is almost too much information on BCG on this forum!!! Search for it and you will find lots.
First, the most common side effects are fatigue, bladder irritation (having go "go" a lot), some bleeding....The first few treatments are generally pretty easy, and as the body starts to react to the BCG (which is what we WANT to happen) the side effects increase in intensity.
It is possible, and very common, for the uro to reduce the dose of BCG as the treatments go on. There is no real reason for the dose used to start with....that was just the way the drug was packaged when the first treatments with BCG were done and it was shown to be effective! By the end of my maintenance treatments, I was down to 1/3 dose. Even as low as 1/10th has been shown to be effective by Dr. Donald Lamm, one of the experts in BCG (you can Google him...very interesting.)
There are several different dosage schedules or protocols used. The most common is 6 treatments a week apart, and then three treatments a week apart every three months for two years. There are others that are effective; however, maintenance treatments have been shown to increase the efficacy significantly.
Hope this helps...
Diagnosis 2-08 Small papillary TCC; CIS
BCG; BCG maintenance
Vice-President, American Bladder Cancer Society
Hello DMAN. I am not sure if you are a female or male but as a male I can say it was not as uncomfortable as I thought it would be. You do get somewhat used to them after each one, but just do what you are supposed to and everything will work out. Louie
Well Sara Anne and everyone else, the cancer is still there after the second set of BCG treatments. It is starting to look more like the bladder is coming out? If so, all three doctors seem to lean towards having the bag, as I call it, on the outside. They claim all the other ways have the risks of leaking. My next, appointment is next Wednesday, May 22nd. in Boston with Doctor Kibel, Chief, Division of Urology at Brigham and Women's, which will be my 2nd. with him. My local urologist today did mention the Gemcitabin, Valrubicine and Synrego-Mytomycin C. Most likely I will have a clearer picture of the treatment I will choose. Exactly three years ago this Friday, I had my prostate out and have had incontinence which always gets worse after all these follow up biopsies. Louie