Generic Name: Bismuth Subsalicylate

  • What is Helidac?

    Helidac is used to eliminate Helicobacter pylori, a type of bacteria that can cause infections and stomach ulcers.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Helidac?

    Follow the medication regimen exactly as directed in order to cure the infection.

    Helidac should be used only for infections that are proven or strongly suspected to be caused by susceptible bacteria.

    Temporary and harmless darkening of the tongue and/or black stool may occur as well. Dark stool should not be confused with melena (blood in the stool).

    If taken with aspirin, ringing of the ears may occur; contact your doctor.

  • Who should not take Helidac?

    Helidac should not be used in children, if you are pregnant or nursing, if you have kidney or liver disease, or if you are sensitive to any component of the drug or to any similar components. Do not take Helidac if you are allergic to aspirin.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Helidac?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Helidac. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have any blood disorders, suffer from seizures or epilepsy, central nervous system diseases, or have kidney or liver disease.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: The recommended dosage (taken four times daily for 14 days at meal times and at bedtime) is bismuth subsalicylate: 525 milligrams (mg) (two 262.4-mg chewable tablets); metronidazole: 250 mg (one 250-mg tablet); and tetracycline hydrochloride: 500 mg (one 500-mg capsule).

  • How should I take Helidac?

    There are four pills in each dose of Helidac. The two pink tablets (bismuth subsalicylate) should be chewed and swallowed. The white tablet (metronidazole) and the orange and black capsule (tetracycline) should be swallowed whole. Be sure to drink at least 8 ounces of fluid with each dose to prevent stomach upset, especially at bedtime.

  • What should I avoid while taking Helidac?

    Do not drink alcohol during therapy and for at least 1 day after completing treatment.

    Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight or artificial sunlight (tanning beds). Helidac increases sensitivity to sunlight and severe burning may result. Wear sunscreen or protective clothing when you are outside.

    Avoid taking antacids, dairy products, iron supplements, laxatives, or multivitamins with Helidac.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Helidac?

    If Helidac is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Helidac with the following: antacids containing aluminum, calcium, or magnesium; aspirin; blood thinners such as warfarin; cimetidine; diabetes medications (such as glyburide or insulin); iron; lithium; methoxyflurane; penicillin; phenobarbital; phenytoin; preparations containing iron, sodium bicarbonate, or zinc; probenecid; or sulfinpyrazone.

    Helidac can interfere with birth control. Use an additional form of birth control, such as condoms, during Helidac therapy.

    Do not start Helidac if you have taken the anti-alcohol drug disulfiram within the past 2 weeks.

  • What are the possible side effects of Helidac?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, darkening of the stool

  • Can I receive Helidac if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    Helidac should not be used if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If pregnancy is detected, immediately stop taking Helidac.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Helidac?

    Take the next dose at the appointed time and continue with your regular schedule until Helidac therapy is completed. Do not take two doses at once. If you miss more than four doses, contact your doctor.

  • How should I store Helidac?

    Store at room temperature.

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