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Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate) was developed in 1901 as a hygienic product and a form of sanitation to help prevent cholera infection and is now an over-the-counter medication commonly used to treat diarrhea, indigestion, and upset stomachs. It is a medication that has been around for generations. It works by coating the stomach and providing relief from indigestion, nausea, heartburn, and other digestive problems.
Bismuth subsalicylate is used as an antidiarrheal, antacid, and anti-inflammatory agent for treating nausea, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea, and other temporary discomforts of the stomach and gastrointestinal tract. This pink-hued liquid is extensively used to treat a variety of common ailments.
Uses and Dosage
To use Liquid Pepto Bismol, shake the bottle before use and then fill the dosing cup provided on the cap with the desired amount. Then fill the dosing cup provided on the cap, fill it to the top, and drink up. No matter which tummy trouble you’re experiencing, you should take 1 dose of Pepto Bismol every half hour to hour until you feel better, but do not take more than 8 doses in a 24-hour period. You don’t have to use it for more than 2 days.
One dose cup of Pepto Bismol liquids equals one dose. Just in case that dose cup goes missing, there is also breakdown how many mL of each Pepto formula equals 1 dose. Dosing varies by Pepto Bismol formula and form, so refer to the below breakdown of what 1 dose means for each product.
- Original Strength Liquid: 30 mL equals 1 dose.
- Ultra-Strength Liquid: 15 mL equals 1 dose.
- Pepto Diarrhea Liquid: 10 mL equals 1 dose.
Common side effects of Pepto Bismol include:
- Vomiting/diarrhea that doesn't stop may result in dehydration
- Symptoms of dehydration
- Unusual decreased urination
- Unusual dry mouth/thirst
- Fast heartbeat
Serious side effects of Pepto Bismol include:
- Bleeding from the stomach or intestines
- Stomach/abdominal pain that doesn't go away
- Vomit that looks like coffee grounds
- Black/tarry/bloody stools
- Ringing in the ears
- Vision problems
Form and strength
Pepto Bismol is available in the form of liquid with the following strength:
Pepto Bismol: Liquid
- Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to salicylate pain relievers such as aspirin, choline magnesium trisalicylate, choline salicylate (Arthropan), diflunisal (Dolobid), magnesium salicylate (Doan's, others), or salsalate (Argesic, Disalcid, Salgesic), or any other medications.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take.
- Be sure to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about taking bismuth subsalicylate if you take any anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin), a daily aspirin, or medication for diabetes, arthritis, or gout.
- Pepto Bismol liquids do not need to be refrigerated, but some say it tastes better when cold. Pepto Bismol is just as effective when stored at room temperature or in the fridge—so the choice is up to you!
- Keep this medication in the container it comes in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women should also not take it, or those with certain medical conditions such as bleeding disorders or kidney disease. Talk to your doctor about taking bismuth subsalicylate if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Bismuth subsalicylate is generally considered safe for use in children over the age of 12 years. However, it’s recommended that children take the medication only under the supervision of a doctor or pharmacist.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How should bismuth subsalicylate be taken?
Bismuth subsalicylate should be taken according to the directions on the package or as directed by your doctor. It is usually taken after meals and at bedtime. Do not take more or less than the recommended dose. It is usually taken twice daily, after meals, and at bedtime.
What other medications should not be taken with bismuth subsalicylate?
Bismuth subsalicylate should not be taken with antacids containing aluminum or magnesium, or with other medications that contain bismuth subsalicylate. It should also not be taken with aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
Can bismuth subsalicylate be used to treat other conditions?
Yes, bismuth subsalicylate can also be used to treat some other conditions such as traveler’s diarrhea, giardiasis, and bacterial gastroenteritis. Although it is primarily used to treat upset stomach and diarrhea, it may be effective in treating some other conditions as well.
It's important to purchase Pepto Bismol from verified Canadian pharmacy.