Tripotassium dicitratobismuthate tablets (De-Noltab)

Take tripotassium dicitratobismuthate tablets with plenty of water - at least half a glassful.

You may notice that your tongue looks darker and that your stools (faeces) are black. This effects are harmless and will disappear when your treatment is finished.

Do not eat, drink or take any other medicines during the half hour before you take tripotassium dicitratobismuthate tablets, or during the half hour afterwards. This is so that the medicine can form a protective barrier over the ulcer.

Type of medicineA bismuth chelate
Used forUlcers in the stomach or upper intestine
Also calledDe-Noltab®
Available asTablets

Tripotassium dicitratobismuthate is given to treat an ulcer in the stomach (also called a gastric ulcer), or an ulcer in the upper part of the intestines (also called a duodenal ulcer).

Acid is produced naturally in your stomach to help digest food. The acid can cause damage to your body tissues, so some cells on the inside lining of your digestive system produce a natural barrier to protect the lining of your stomach and the upper part of your intestines from the acid. If there is an imbalance between the protective barrier and the acid then an ulcer can develop.

Tripotassium dicitratobismuthate works by forming a protective layer around the ulcer. This eases the pain caused by the ulcer and allows it to heal.

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking tripotassium dicitratobismuthate tablets it is important that your doctor knows:

  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • If you have any problems with the way your kidneys work.
  • If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
  • Before you start taking the tablets, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about tripotassium dicitratobismuthate and will provide a full list of the side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
  • Take the tablets exactly as your doctor tells you to. You will be asked to take either two tablets twice a day, or one tablet four times a day. If you are taking two tablets twice daily, take the first dose 30 minutes before your breakfast and the second dose 30 minutes before your main evening meal. If you are taking one tablet four times daily, take one tablet 30 minutes before each of your three main meals and also one tablet two hours after your main evening meal.
  • Take the tablets with plenty of water - you should drink half a glass of water each time you take a dose.
  • Ideally, you should not eat or drink anything else in the half hour before you take a dose, or during the half-hour after you have taken a dose. This is so that the medicine can form a barrier over the ulcer. In particular, do not eat fruit, drink fruit juices or take antacids during this period (see below also).
  • If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember (unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case leave out the missed dose). Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
  • Remember to keep any regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress.
  • Your course of treatment will initially last for 28 days. You might additionally be given a second 28-day course if your doctor thinks this is necessary.
  • You should not drink milk during treatment with tripotassium dicitratobismuthate. It is acceptable to have small quantities of milk in hot drinks and on cereals, but do not have milk as a drink by itself.
  • Don't eat fruit or drink fruit juices within half an hour of taking the tablets. This means that you should not eat fruit and drink fruit juices during the 30 minutes before you take a dose, or during the 30 minutes after you have taken a dose. Likewise, you should not take any antacid or indigestion remedy within half an hour (before or after) of taking the tablets.
  • Try to avoid eating and drinking things that you know make your symptoms worse. Foods and drinks that have been suspected of this include fruit juices, tomatoes, chocolate, spicy foods, hot drinks, coffee, and alcoholic drinks. If it seems that a food is aggravating your symptoms, try avoiding it for a while to see if your symptoms improve.
  • Smoking increases the amount of acid produced by your stomach and may make your symptoms worse. If you are a smoker, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for advice on quitting.

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones associated with tripotassium dicitratobismuthate tablets. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.

Very common tripotassium dicitratobismuthate side-effects (these affect more than 1 in 10 people)What can I do if I experience this?
Dark-coloured tongue and black stoolsThis will disappear when you stop taking the tablets
Uncommon tripotassium dicitratobismuthate side-effects (these affect less than 1 in 100 people)What can I do if I experience this?
Feeling or being sickStick to simple meals - avoid rich or spicy foods
Diarrhoea or constipationEat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water
Rash and itchingSpeak with your doctor or pharmacist if this becomes troublesome

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the tablets, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with your other medicines.

If you are having an operation or any dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.

Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.

If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

Did you find this information useful?

Original Author:
Helen Allen
Current Version:
Helen Allen
Peer Reviewer:
Dr John Cox
Document ID:
3813 (v23)
Last Checked:
17 April 2014
Next Review:
16 April 2017
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