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Helidac

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Helidac

WARNINGS

Fetal Toxicity

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of HELIDAC Therapy in pregnant women. However, tetracycline can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. The use of drugs of the tetracycline class during the second and third trimester pregnancy can also cause permanent discoloration of the teeth (yellow-gray brown) and possibly inhibit bone development. Administration of oral tetracycline to pregnant rats at various doses resulted in yellow fluorescence in teeth and bones in the newborn animals. If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus. (See PRECAUTIONS)

Maternal Toxicity

Tetracycline administered during pregnancy at high doses ( > 2 g IV) was associated with rare but serious cases of maternal hepatotoxicity. This syndrome may result in stillborn or premature birth due to maternal pathology. (See PRECAUTIONS)

Tooth Enamel Discoloration and Hypoplasia

The use of drugs of the tetracycline class during tooth development (last half of pregnancy, infancy, and childhood to the age of 8 years) may cause permanent discoloration of the teeth (yellow-gray-brown). This adverse reaction is more common during long-term use of the drug, but has been observed following repeated short-term courses. Enamel hypoplasia has also been reported. HELIDAC Therapy, therefore, should not be used in this age group unless other drugs are not likely to be effective or are contraindicated. (See PRECAUTIONS)

Central and Peripheral Nervous System Effects

Metronidazole

Cases of encephalopathy and peripheral neuropathy (including optic neuropathy) have been reported with metronidazole. Encephalopathy has been reported in association with cerebellar toxicity characterized by ataxia, dizziness, and dysarthria. CNS lesions seen on MRI have been described in reports of encephalopathy. CNS symptoms are generally reversible within days to weeks upon discontinuation of metronidazole. CNS lesions seen on MRI have also been described as reversible. Peripheral neuropathy, mainly of sensory type has been reported and is characterized by numbness or paresthesia of an extremity.

Convulsive seizures have been reported in patients treated with metronidazole.

Aseptic meningitis

Cases of aseptic meningitis have been reported with metronidazole. Symptoms can occur within hours of dose administration and generally resolve after metronidazole therapy is discontinued.

Tetracycline

Cases of pseudotumor cerebri (benign intracranial hypertension) in adults have been associated with the use of tetracycline. The usual clinical manifestations are headache and blurred vision. While this condition and related symptoms usually resolve soon after discontinuation of the tetracycline, the possibility for permanent sequelae exists.

Bismuth-containing products

Cases of neurotoxicity associated with excessive doses of various bismuth-containing products, including bismuth subsalicylate have been reported. Effects have been reversible with discontinuation of therapy.

The appearance of abnormal neurologic signs and symptoms demands the prompt evaluation of the benefit/risk ratio of the continuation of therapy. (See ADVERSE REACTIONS)

Risk of Reye's Syndrome

Use of HELIDAC Therapy is not recommended in children and teenagers who have or who are recovering from chicken pox or flu to treat nausea or vomiting. If nausea or vomiting is present, patients are advised to consult a doctor because this could be an early sign of Reye's syndrome, a rare but serious illness.

Pregnancy

Teratogenic Effects

HELIDAC Therapy contains bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline hydrochloride. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of HELIDAC Therapy in pregnant women. However, tetracycline can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. The use of tetracycline during the second and third trimester pregnancy can cause permanent discoloration of the teeth (yellow-gray brown) and possibly inhibit bone development. Administration of oral tetracycline to pregnant animals at various doses resulted in yellow fluorescence in teeth and bones. If HELIDAC Therapy is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking HELIDAC Therapy, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus.

The available human and animal data are summarized below for each of HELIDAC Therapy's active ingredients:

Tetracycline

Published case reports have described the yellowing of bones and teeth in human infants exposed to tetracycline during the second and third trimester of pregnancy. The yellowing is caused by the direct deposition of tetracycline during the mineralization process. This discoloration is more common during long-term use of the drug but has also been observed following repeated short-term courses. All tetracyclines form a stable calcium complex in any bone forming tissue. A decrease in fibula growth rate was observed in premature infants given oral tetracycline in doses of 25 mg/kg every six hours. This effect resolved when the drug was discontinued. One long-term follow-up study in children exposed to tetracycline in-utero showed no adverse effects on bone growth and development.

Tetracycline administered during pregnancy at high doses ( > 2 g IV) was associated with rare but serious cases of maternal hepatotoxicity. This syndrome may result in stillborn or premature birth due to maternal pathology. (See WARNINGS)

Results of animal studies indicate that tetracycline crosses the placenta, is found in fetal tissues, and can have toxic effects on the developing fetus (often related to reversible retardation of skeletal development). Evidence of embryotoxicity has also been noted in animals treated early in pregnancy. Multiple studies of limited design were conducted with pregnant and lactating female rats that resulted in fetuses and neonates with yellow discoloration of bones and teeth.

Metronidazole

There are published data from case-control studies, cohort studies, and 2 meta-analyses that include more than 5000 pregnant women who used metronidazole during pregnancy. Many studies included first trimester exposures. One study showed an increased risk of cleft lip, with or without cleft palate, in infants exposed to metronidazole in-utero; however, these findings were not confirmed. In addition, more than ten randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials enrolled more than 5000 pregnant women to assess the use of antibiotic treatment (including metronidazole) for bacterial vaginosis on the incidence of preterm delivery. Most studies did not show an increased risk for congenital anomalies or other adverse fetal outcomes following metronidazole exposure during pregnancy. Three studies conducted to assess the risk of infant cancer following metronidazole exposure during pregnancy did not show an increased risk; however, the ability of these studies to detect such a signal was limited.

Metronidazole crosses the placental barrier and its effects on the human fetal organogenesis are not known. No fetotoxicity was observed when metronidazole was administered orally to pregnant mice at 10 mg/kg/day, approximately 5 percent of the indicated human dose (1500 mg/day) based on body surface area; however in a single small study where the drug was administered intraperitoneally, some intrauterine deaths were observed. The relationship of these findings to the drug is unknown.

Bismuth subsalicylate

Animal reproductive studies have not been conducted with bismuth subsalicylate. It is also not known whether bismuth subsalicylate can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity.

PRECAUTIONS

Development of Superinfections

Known or previously unrecognized candidiasis may present more prominent symptoms during therapy with metronidazole and requires treatment with an antifungal agent.

As with other antibiotics, use of tetracycline hydrochloride may result in overgrowth of nonsusceptible organisms, including fungi. If superinfection occurs discontinue HELIDAC Therapy and institute appropriate therapy.

Photosensitivity

Photosensitivity manifested by an exaggerated sunburn reaction has been observed in some individuals taking tetracyclines. Patients apt to be exposed to direct sunlight or ultraviolet light should be advised that this reaction can occur with tetracycline drugs. Treatment should be discontinued at the first evidence of skin erythema.

Darkening of the Tongue and/or Black Stool

Bismuth subsalicylate may cause a temporary and harmless darkening of the tongue and/or black stool, generally reversible within several days after treatment is stopped. Stool darkening should not be confused with melena.

Use in Patients with Blood Dyscrasias

Metronidazole is a nitroimidazole and should be used with caution in patients with evidence of, or history of, blood dyscrasia. A mild leukopenia has been observed; however, no persistent hematologic abnormalities attributable to metronidazole have been observed in clinical studies. Total and differential leukocyte counts are recommended before and after therapy. (See ADVERSE REACTIONS)

Development of Drug Resistant Bacteria

Prescribing HELIDAC Therapy in the absence of a proven or strongly suspected bacterial infection or a prophylactic indication is unlikely to provide benefit to the patient and increases the risk of the development of drug-resistant bacteria.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility:

No long-term studies have been performed to evaluate the effect of the combined use of bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, and tetracycline on carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, or impairment of fertility.

Bismuth subsalicylate

No long-term toxicity studies have been conducted with bismuth subsalicylate. Bismuth did not show mutagenic potential in the NTP salmonella plate assay. No reproductive toxicity studies have been conducted with bismuth subsalicylate.

Metronidazole

Metronidazole has shown evidence of carcinogenic activity in a number of studies involving chronic, oral administration in mice and rats. Prominent among the effects in the mouse was an increased incidence of pulmonary tumorigenesis. This has been observed in all six reported studies in that species, including one study in which the animals were dosed on an intermittent schedule (administration during every fourth week only). At the highest dose, (approximately 500 mg/kg/day, which is approximately 1.6 times the indicated human dose for a 60 kg adult based on body surface area), there was a statistically significant increase in the incidence of malignant liver tumors in male mice.Also, the published results of one of the mouse studies indicate an increase in the incidence of malignant lymphomas as well as pulmonary neoplasms associated with lifetime feeding of the drug. All these effects are statistically significant. Long-term, oral-dosing studies in the rat showed statistically significant increases in the incidence of various neoplasms, particularly in mammary and hepatic tumors, among female rats administered metronidazole over those noted in the concurrent female control groups. Two lifetime tumorigenicity studies in hamsters have been performed and reported to be negative. Although metronidazole has shown mutagenic activity in a number of in vitro assay systems, studies in mammals (in vivo) have failed to demonstrate a potential for genetic damage.

Fertility studies have been conducted with male rats and mice with divergent results. Metronidazole, at doses up to 400 mg/kg/day (approximately 3 times the indicated human dose base on mg/m²) for 28 days, failed to produce any adverse effects on fertility and testicular function in male rats. In another study where rats were treated with up to 400 mg/kg/day for 8 weeks, there was severe degeneration of the seminiferous epithelium in the testes which was associated with a marked decrease in testicular spermatid counts and epididymal sperm counts and a marked decrease in fecundity. These effects were partially reversible.

Fertility studies have been performed in mice at doses up to six times the maximum recommended human dose based on mg/m² and have revealed no evidence of impaired fertility. Another fertility study was performed in male mice at oral doses of 500 mg/kg/day (approximately 2 times the indicated human dose based on mg/m²) for 14 days. Metronidazole significantly decreased testes and epididymides weight, decreased sperm viability, and increased the incidence of abnormal sperm. The viability of sperm was normal by 2 months after the start of the treatment.

Tetracycline hydrochloride

There has been no evidence of carcinogenicity for tetracycline hydrochloride in studies conducted with rats and mice. Some related antibiotics (oxytetracycline, minocycline) have shown evidence of oncogenic activity in rats.

There was evidence of mutagenicity by tetracycline hydrochloride in two in vitro mammalian cell assay systems (L51784y mouse lymphoma and Chinese hamster lung cells),

Tetracycline hydrochloride had no effect on fertility when administered in the diet to male and female rats at a daily intake of 25 times the human dose.

Pregnancy

Teratogenic Effects. Pregnancy Category D

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of HELIDAC Therapy in pregnant women. However, tetracycline can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. The use of drugs of the tetracycline class during the second and third trimester pregnancy can also cause permanent discoloration of the teeth (yellow-gray brown) and possibly inhibit bone development. Administration of oral tetracycline to pregnant rats at various doses resulted in yellow fluorescence in teeth and bones in the newborn animals. If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus. (See WARNINGS)

Non-teratogenic Effects
Maternal Toxicity

Tetracycline administered during pregnancy at high doses ( > 2 g IV) was associated with rare but serious cases of maternal hepatotoxicity. This syndrome may result in stillborn or premature birth due to maternal pathology. (See WARNINGS)

Tooth Enamel Discoloration and Hypoplasia

The use of drugs of the tetracycline class during tooth development (last half of pregnancy, infancy, and childhood to the age of 8 years) may cause permanent discoloration of the teeth (yellow-gray-brown). This adverse reaction is more common during long-term use of the drug, but has been observed following repeated short-term courses. Enamel hypoplasia has also been reported. HELIDAC Therapy, therefore, should not be used in this age group unless other drugs are not likely to be effective or are contraindicated. (See WARNINGS)

Labor and Delivery

The effect of this therapy on labor and delivery is unknown.

Nursing Mothers

HELIDAC Therapy contains bismuth subcitrate potassium, metronidazole, and tetracycline hydrochloride. Metronidazole is present in human milk at concentrations similar to maternal serum levels, and infant serum levels can be close to or comparable to infant therapeutic levels. Because of the potential for tumorigenicity shown for metronidazole in animal studies, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue metronidazole, taking into account the importance of the therapy to the mother. Alternatively, a nursing mother may choose to pump and discard human milk for the duration of HELIDAC Therapy, and for 24 hours after therapy ends and feed her infant stored human milk or formula.

Tetracycline is present in human milk at concentrations similar to maternal serum levels; however, it binds with calcium in human milk. Data indicate that oral absorption of tetracycline in infants is low due to the calcium binding in human milk. It is not known whether bismuth subsalicyate is excreted in human milk.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients infected with H. pylori have not been established. Tetracycline use in children may cause permanent discoloration of the teeth. Enamel hypoplasia has also been reported. HELIDAC Therapy should not be used in children up to 8 years of age (See WARNINGS.)

Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of HELIDAC Therapy did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapies. Bismuth subsalicylate, a component of HELIDAC Therapy, is known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of adverse reactions may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, additional monitoring may be required. (See CONTRAINDICATIONS)

Renal Impairment

The antianabolic action of the tetracyclines may cause an increase in blood urea nitrogen (BUN). While this is not a problem in those with normal renal function, in patients with significantly impaired renal function, higher serum levels of tetracycline may lead to azotemia, hyperphosphatemia, and acidosis. (See CONTRAINDICATIONS)

Hepatic Impairment

Patients with severe hepatic disease metabolize metronidazole slowly, with resultant accumulation of metronidazole and its metabolites in plasma. Use HELIDAC Therapy with caution in patients with hepatic impairment.

Last reviewed on RxList: 6/29/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

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