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How can I minimize the side effects of Helidac Therapy?

You can minimize side effects of Helidac Therapy, a combination of medications used to treat peptic ulcers, by telling your doctor about all your other medications or supplements, because some may interact with the treatment. Medications that can interact with Helidac Therapy include:
  • disulfiram (Antabuse)
  • penicillin
  • certain anticoagulants, such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)
  • aspirin or products that contain aspirin
  • cimetidine (Tagamet)
  • lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid)
  • omeprazole (Prilosec, Zegerid)
  • phenobarbital (Luminal)
  • phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek)
  • probenecid (Col-Probenecid, Probalan)
  • sulfinpyrazone
  • diabetes medications
You may need to adjust the dose or timing of some other medicines or foods. If you take a zinc supplement or antacids containing aluminum, calcium, magnesium or sodium bicarbonate, you should take them one to two hours before or one to two hours after a dose of Helidac Therapy. Foods that contain calcium should be eaten at least two hours before or one hour after a dose of Helidac Therapy. Iron supplements should be taken at least three hours before or two hours after.

Tell your doctor if you are allergic to bismuth, metronidazole or tetracycline, the three medications in Helidac Therapy. Also tell your doctor if you are allergic to aspirin or salicylates, doxycycline (Doryx, Vibramycin), minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin) or tinidazole (Tindamax). Let your doctor know if you have kidney or liver disease, an infection, Crohn's disease, a central nervous system condition, or if you have ever had blood problems.

Avoid anything containing alcohol or propylene glycol while on Helidac Therapy and for at least three days after you finish your pills, because alcohol and propylene glycol can cause nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, headache, sweating and redness of the face when taken with metronidazole.

Helidac Therapy can decrease the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives such as birth control pills, so use another form of birth control to reduce your risk of unwanted pregnancy. It can also make your skin sensitive to ultraviolet light, so you should avoid prolonged sun exposure and tanning beds, and wear protective clothing and sunscreen if you must be in the sun.

Take each dose, especially the bedtime dose, with eight ounces of water to help prevent stomach irritation.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.