Helidac

Generic Name: bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline (BIZ muth sub sa LISS i late, MET roe NYE da zole, and tet ra SYE kleen)
Brand Name: Helidac

What is bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline (Helidac)?

Bismuth subsalicylate is a mild antibiotic.

Metronidazole and tetracycline are also antibiotics that fight bacteria in your body.

Bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline is a combination medicine used to treat peptic ulcer (duodenal ulcer) with H pylori infection.

This medication may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline (Helidac)?

Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Tetracycline can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about using non-hormonal birth control (condom, diaphragm with spermicide) to prevent pregnancy while taking Helidac.

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Do not give this medication to a child younger than 8 years old.

Do not drink alcohol while you are taking Helidac and for at least 1 day after you stop taking it.

Avoid taking Helidac with milk or other dairy products. Also avoid taking the medicine at the same time you take any multivitamins, mineral supplements, or antacids. These products can make it harder for your body to absorb Helidac.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Helidac?

You should not use this medication if:

  • you have kidney or liver disease;

  • you are pregnant or breast-feeding;

  • you have taken disulfiram (Antabuse) in the past 14 days; or

  • you are allergic to aspirin, bismuth subsalicylate (Kaopectate, Pepto-Bismol), metronidazole, or tetracycline.

To make sure Helidac is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • a history of kidney or liver disease;

  • a nervous system disorder such as Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, or Parkinson's disease;

  • a head injury or brain tumor; or

  • a seizure disorder.

Do not give this medication to a child younger than 8 years old. Tetracycline can cause permanent yellowing or graying of the teeth, and it can affect a child's growth.

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Tetracycline can cause permanent tooth discoloration later in life and can also affect a child's growth.

Tetracycline can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about using non-hormonal birth control (condom, diaphragm with spermicide) to prevent pregnancy while taking Helidac.

Metronidazole and tetracycline can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

How should I take Helidac?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Chew and swallow the bismuth subsalicylate tablets.

Do not chew the metronidazole or tetracycline pills. Swallow each pill whole.

To prevent heartburn and damage to the esophagus, be sure to take each dose (especially the bedtime dose) with a full glass of water (8 ounces).

Take all 4 pills four times daily with meals and at bedtime.

Take this medicine for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

If you miss more than 4 doses in a row, call your doctor for instructions.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking Helidac?

Avoid taking Helidac with milk or other dairy products. Also avoid taking the medicine at the same time you take any multivitamins, mineral supplements, or antacids. These products can make it harder for your body to absorb the medicine.

If you also take cholestyramine or colestipol, do not take these medicines within 2 hours before or after you take Helidac.

Do not drink alcohol while you are taking Helidac and for at least 1 day after you stop taking it. Drinking alcohol while taking Helidac may cause nausea, vomiting, headache, or flushing (warmth, redness, tingly feeling).

Check the labels of any medicines or food products you use to make sure they do not contain alcohol.

Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Helidac can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, stop taking Helidac and call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

Helidac side effects

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

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe diarrhea, or diarrhea that is watery or bloody;

  • confusion, severe headache, ringing in your ears, dizziness;

  • vision problems, pain behind your eyes;

  • nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • seizure (convulsions); or

  • pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating.

Common side effects may include:

  • stomach pain, indigestion, vomiting;

  • constipation, mild diarrhea;

  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat;

  • mouth pain, metallic taste in your mouth;

  • vaginal itching or discharge;

  • mild headache; or

  • swollen tongue, black or "hairy" tongue, trouble swallowing.

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.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Helidac?

Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with Helidac, especially:

  • aspirin;

  • cimetidine;

  • lithium;

  • probenecid;

  • any other type of antibiotic;

  • birth control pills;

  • a blood thinner such as warfarin, Coumadin;

  • oral diabetes medication; or

  • seizure medicine such as phenytoin or phenobarbital.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with Helidac, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

More about Helidac (bismuth subsalicylate / metronidazole / tetracycline)

Consumer resources

Professional resources

Related treatment guides

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.01. Revision Date: 2013-01-28, 8:32:28 AM.

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