Skip to Content

Bismuth Subsalicylate, Metronidazole, and Tetracycline

Generic Name: Bismuth Subsalicylate, Metronidazole, and Tetracycline (BIZ muth sub sa LISS i late, met roe NYE da zole, tet ra SYE kleen)
Brand Name: Helidac

  • Metronidazole has been shown to cause cancer in mice and rats with long-term use. Talk with the doctor.

Uses of Bismuth Subsalicylate, Metronidazole, and Tetracycline:

  • It is used to treat or prevent GI (gastrointestinal) ulcers caused by infection.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Bismuth Subsalicylate, Metronidazole, and Tetracycline?

  • If you have an allergy to bismuth, metronidazole, salicylates, tetracycline, or any other part of bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have kidney disease.
  • If you have taken disulfiram within the past 2 weeks.
  • If you drink alcohol or take any drugs that have alcohol.
  • If you are taking penicillin.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this medicine.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Bismuth Subsalicylate, Metronidazole, and Tetracycline?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take this medicine. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Avoid alcohol and products that have alcohol or propylene glycol in them while taking bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline and for at least 72 hours after your last dose. Drinking alcohol or taking products that have alcohol or propylene glycol in them, like some cough syrups, may cause cramps, upset stomach, headaches, and flushing.
  • You may get sunburned more easily. Avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun.
  • Do not use longer than you have been told. A second infection may happen.
  • This medicine may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your health care providers and lab workers that you take this medicine.
  • Do not give to children and teenagers who have or are getting better from flu signs, chickenpox, or other viral infections due to the chance of Reye's syndrome. Reye's syndrome causes very bad problems to the brain and liver.
  • Do not give to a child younger than 8 years of age.
  • Birth control pills and other hormone-based birth control may not work as well to prevent pregnancy. Use some other kind of birth control also like a condom when taking bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline.
  • This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this medicine while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

How is this medicine (Bismuth Subsalicylate, Metronidazole, and Tetracycline) best taken?

Use bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
  • Keep taking this medicine as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
  • Take with meals and at bedtime.
  • Take with a full glass of water.
  • Do not take dairy products, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, multivitamins with minerals, colestipol, cholestyramine, didanosine, or antacids within 2 hours of bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline.
  • Chew bismuth tablets.
  • Swallow metronidazole tablets and tetracycline capsules whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
  • If you miss 4 doses, call your doctor.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
  • Change in eyesight.
  • Change in balance.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • Seizures.
  • Trouble speaking.
  • Black, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • Throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds.
  • Raised pressure in the brain has happened with this medicine. Most of the time, this will go back to normal after bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline is stopped. Sometimes, loss of eyesight may happen and may not go away even after this medicine is stopped. Call your doctor right away if you have a headache or eyesight problems like blurred eyesight, seeing double, or loss of eyesight.

What are some other side effects of Bismuth Subsalicylate, Metronidazole, and Tetracycline?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Upset stomach.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Headache.
  • Belly pain.
  • Dark tongue and stool.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Bismuth Subsalicylate, Metronidazole, and Tetracycline?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline.

Review Date: October 4, 2017

Hide