Metronidazole can cause cancer in laboratory animals. However, it can be useful when taken to heal ulcers. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of using this combination containing metronidazole in the treatment of your ulcers.
Bismuth, metronidazole, and tetracycline is used along with other ulcer medications to treat duodenal ulcers. It is in a class of medications called antibacterial agents. It works by preventing the growth and spread of Helicobacter pylori bacteria, which often occurs with ulcers. Treating this infection keeps ulcers from coming back.
Bismuth, metronidazole, and tetracycline (Helidac) comes as two chewable bismuth tablets, one metronidazole tablet, and one tetracycline capsule to take together by mouth. Bismuth, metronidazole, and tetracycline (Pylera) come as a capsule to take by mouth. It usually is taken four times a day, at meals and at bedtime for 10 days (Pylera) or 14 days (Helidac). Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take this medication exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
If you are taking bismuth, metronidazole, and tetracycline (Helidac), chew and swallow the bismuth tablets. Swallow the metronidazole tablet and tetracycline capsule whole with a full glass of water (8 ounces [240 milliliters]). If you are taking bismuth, metronidazole, and tetracycline (Pylera), swallow the capsules whole with a full glass of water (8 ounces [240 milliliters]). It is especially important to take the bedtime dose with plenty of fluid to prevent irritation of your throat and stomach.
Take bismuth, metronidazole, and tetracycline at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after you eat or drink foods that contain calcium, such as dairy products and calcium-fortified juices and foods.
Continue to take this medication even if you feel well. Do not stop taking it without talking to your doctor. If you stop taking this medication too soon or skip doses, your infection may not be completely treated and the bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule until all of the medication is gone. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you miss more than four doses, call your doctor.
loss of appetite
metallic taste in the mouth
dry or sore mouth
numbness, pain, burning, or tingling in your hands or feet
problems with coordination
confusion or agitation
ringing in the ears
vaginal itching and/or discharge
fever, cough, sore throat, chills, or other signs of infection
bloody or tarry stools
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
ringing in the ears
lack of energy
fast heart rate
shortness of breath
problems with coordination
pain, burning, or tingling in the hands or feet
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your response to this medication.
Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking this medication.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Your prescription is probably not refillable. If you still have symptoms of an ulcer after you finish this medication, call your doctor.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Last Revised - 10/15/2011
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2014. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.