Can Helidac Therapy interact with other medications or foods?

The peptic ulcer remedy known as Helidac Therapy can interact with several medications, as well as with foods or drinks containing calcium, alcohol or the additive propylene glycol.

Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medicines or supplements. Drugs 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
Your doctor may want to discontinue or change the dosage of these medications before you begin taking Helidac Therapy, which is a combination pack that contains three medications: bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole and tetracycline.

The drugs used in Helidac Therapy can also decrease the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives, such as birth control pills, patches, rings, implants, injections and some intrauterine devices (IUDs), so you should use another form of birth control while taking Helidac Therapy. You may experience breakthrough bleeding while you're on the therapy.

If you need to take antacids containing aluminum, calcium, magnesium or sodium bicarbonate, or a zinc supplement, take them one to two hours before or one to two hours after a dose of Helidac Therapy. If you eat a food that contains calcium (such as dairy products and calcium-fortified foods and juices), do so 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 a Helidac dose.

You should also avoid beverages and products that contain alcohol or propylene glycol while taking Helidac Therapy and for at least three days after finishing your pills. Consuming alcohol or propylene glycol in combination with metronidazole, one of the antibiotics used in Helidac Therapy, can cause nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, headache, sweating and redness of the face.

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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.