Pepto-Bismol is intended to relieve occasional symptoms of upset stomach, heartburn, and nausea. It can also be used to treat diarrhea and prevent travelers’ diarrhea by slowing the growth of bacteria that may cause the condition.
This medication is used under a doctor’s guidance in combination with other treatments to address stomach ulcers caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori. Self-treating ulcers with this medication is not recommended. Bismuth subsalicylate is a type of salicylate, which can cause significant bleeding in patients with ulcers if used alone.
Uses and Dosage
This medication is to be taken orally, usually as required, in accordance with the instructions provided on the product package or as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on factors such as your age, medical condition, and response to treatment. Do not exceed the recommended dose or frequency of administration.
There are various brands and forms of bismuth subsalicylate available, and each product may have different dosing instructions. Carefully read and follow the dosing instructions for the specific product you are using.
If you are using chewable tablets, make sure to chew each tablet thoroughly before swallowing. If you are using the liquid form of the medication, shake the bottle well before each dose and measure the dose accurately using a specific measuring device or cup.
This medication may interact with certain other drugs, such as tetracycline antibiotics or chloroquine, reducing their absorption by the body. You should discuss with your doctor or pharmacist how to coordinate your medications to prevent this interaction.
If your doctor has prescribed this medication for daily use, use it consistently to attain the maximum benefit. To aid in remembering, take the medication at the same time(s) every day.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- dark colored stools
Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:
- changes in behavior with nausea and vomiting
- hearing loss or ringing in your ears
- diarrhea lasting longer than 2 days
- worsened stomach symptoms
Prior to using bismuth subsalicylate, inform your healthcare provider or pharmacist of any allergies you may have, particularly to the medication itself, aspirin, salicylates (such as salsalate), or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or celecoxib.
Discuss any previous medical history, especially any history of bleeding problems, such as hemophilia, or any history of bloody, black, or tarry stools, or gout.
This medication may contain aspartame and should be used with caution if you have phenylketonuria (PKU) or any other condition that requires you to restrict your aspartame or phenylalanine intake.
This medication contains an aspirin-like product (salicylate) and should not be taken by children or teenagers under the age of 18 if they have chickenpox, flu, or any undiagnosed illness, or if they have recently received a vaccine, as it increases the risk of developing Reye’s syndrome, a rare but serious illness.
If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor as this medication may have adverse effects on the fetus and normal labor and delivery. Use during pregnancy is not recommended from 20 weeks until delivery and should only be used between 20 and 30 weeks with the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time. This medication should not be used after 30 weeks of pregnancy.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before starting to breastfeed.
Form and Strength
Pepto-Bismol is available in the following forms and strengths:
Why is Pepto-Bismol so effective?
The medicine forms a protective coating over the lower part of your food pipe (oesophagus), and partly coats your stomach. This helps protect them from stomach acid.
Does Pepto-Bismol help with gas?
A mainstay in the world of OTC tummy trouble relief, Pepto Bismol can be effective in remedying excessive gas experienced in conjunction with an upset stomach.