bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline

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bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline

Pronunciation:BIZ muth sub sa LISS i late, MET roe NYE da zole, and tet ra SYE kleen
Brand:Helidac

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

finishTake this medication for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. The antibiotics in this medication will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.
nochildBismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline is not approved for use by children. Children younger than 8 years of age should not use tetracycline because of its unfavorable effects on tooth and bone formation.
nodairyAvoid taking dairy products, multivitamins, iron supplements, antacids, and laxatives within 2 hours of taking tetracycline. These products decrease the effectiveness of tetracycline.
bcpThis medication can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about using a non-hormone method of birth control (such as a condom, diaphragm, spermicide) to prevent pregnancy while taking bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline.
nosunAvoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. This medication can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.
noalcoholAvoid alcohol while you are taking this medication and for 1 day after your treatment ends. Alcohol can increase certain unpleasant side effects of metronidazole. Check the label of any medicine, drink, or food to see if a contains alcohol.

What is bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline?

Bismuth subsalicylate is a mild antibiotic.

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

The combination of bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline is used to treat Helicobacter pylori, a bacterial infection that can cause stomach ulcer.

Bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline?

donotYou should not use this medication if you are allergic to aspirin, or to bismuth subsalicylate (Kaopectate, Pepto-Bismol), metronidazole (Flagyl), or tetracycline (Ala-Tet, Brodspec, Panmycin, Sumycin, Tetracap).

To make sure you can safely take bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease; or
  • epilepsy or another seizure disorder.
nopregFDA pregnancy category D. Do not use bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline 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. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.
bcpTetracycline can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about using a non-hormone method of birth control (such as a condom, diaphragm, spermicide) to prevent pregnancy while taking bismuth, subsalicylate, and tetracycline.
nobrfeedMetronidazole and tetracycline can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
nochildChildren younger than 8 years old should not take tetracycline. Tetracycline can cause permanent tooth discoloration and can also affect a child's growth.

How should I take bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Chew and swallow the bismuth subsalicylate tablets.

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

waterTo 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.

finishTake this medication for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. The antibiotics in this medication will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.
rtStore 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?

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

Overdose symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, slow breathing, ringing in you ears, fever, fast heart rate, confusion, numbness or tingling, or seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid while taking bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline?

nodairyDo not take this medicine with milk or other dairy products (cheese, yogurt, etc) unless your doctor has told you to. Dairy products can make it harder for your body to absorb the medicine. Do not take iron supplements, multivitamins, calcium supplements, antacids, or laxatives within 2 hours before or after you take this medication.
nosunAvoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Tetracycline can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.
noalcoholAvoid alcohol while you are taking this medication and for 1 day after your treatment ends. Alcohol can increase certain unpleasant side effects of metronidazole. Check the label of any medicine, drink, or food to see if a contains alcohol.

What are the possible side effects of bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline?

emtGet 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.
donotCall your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
  • a severe headache;
  • vision changes;
  • confusion;
  • nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;
  • severe diarrhea; or
  • seizure (convulsions).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea;
  • metallic taste in your mouth;
  • numbness or tingling;
  • dizziness, loss of coordination;
  • swollen tongue, black or "hairy" tongue, trouble swallowing;
  • vaginal itching or discharge;

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.

What other drugs will affect bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline?

donotThe following drugs can interact with bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline. Do not take any of these medicines within 2 hours before or after you take bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline:
  • cholestyramine (Questran) or colestipol (Colestid);
  • antacids or laxatives that contain calcium, magnesium, or aluminum (such as Amphojel, Maalox, Milk of Magnesia, Mylanta, Rolaids, Rulox, Tums, and others); or
  • vitamin or mineral supplements that contain iron, zinc, calcium, or magnesium.

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

  • aspirin;
  • cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB);
  • disulfiram (Antabuse);
  • lithium (Lithobid, Eskalith);
  • probenecid (Benemid);
  • any other type of antibiotic;
  • birth control pills;
  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin);
  • oral diabetes medication; or
  • seizure medicine such as phenytoin (Dilantin) or phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

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.

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