Bismuth subsalicylate/metronidazole/tetracycline (By mouth)


Treats a stomach infection (H pylori) that causes ulcers. This medicine is a combination of antibiotics.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Helidac Therapy

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to bismuth (Pepto-Bismol®), metronidazole (Flagyl®), any tetracycline antibiotic (doxycycline, minocycline), or aspirin. Do not use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or have kidney disease or liver disease. Children should not take this medicine, especially while recovering from chicken pox or flu.

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet, Chewable Tablet, Capsule
  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to take and how often. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • Pay attention to how to take each different medicine. Completely chew and swallow the pink bismuth tablet. Swallow the metronidazole tablet and the tetracycline capsule whole with a full glass (8 ounces) of water. Do not chew, crush, or break the metronidazole tablet and the tetracycline capsule.
  • This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Keep using this medicine for the full treatment time, even if you feel better after the first few doses. Your infection may not clear up if you stop using the medicine too soon.
  • Never share your medicine with anyone.
If a dose is missed:
  • If you miss a dose or forget to take your medicine, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using aspirin, lithium, probenecid (Benemid®), sulfinpyrazone (Anturan®), penicillin, Tagamet®, an antacid (such as Maalox®, Rolaids®, Alka-Seltzer®), supplements containing iron or zinc, a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin®), diabetes medicine (insulin or oral medicine such as Avandia®, Glucophage®), or medicine for seizures (such as Dilantin®, Luminal®).
  • Avoid taking this medicine with milk or other dairy products.
  • Birth control pills may not work while you are using Helidac®. To keep from getting pregnant, use another form of birth control such as condoms, a diaphragm, or contraceptive foam or jelly.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using Helidac® and for at least 1 day after you stop using it. Tell your doctor if you are currently taking disulfiram (Antabuse®) or have taken any in the last two weeks.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you have nerve problems or Crohn's disease, or a history of bleeding problems.
  • Stop using this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have a seizure or numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.
  • This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Use a sunscreen when you are outdoors. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.

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, or trouble breathing.
  • Headache or blurred vision.
  • Skin rash or redness.
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
  • Dark, black tongue, or black stools.
  • Nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, constipation, or bad taste in your mouth.
  • Vaginal itching or discharge.

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
Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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