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Pepto Bismol
(Bismuth Subsalicylate)

Relieves heartburn, upset tummy and diarrhea. Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate) does it all, from upset stomach to crampy diarrhea.
How it works
Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate) is a stomach and intestine medicine with multiple effects. It relieves diarrhea by helping your intestines absorb water and electrolytes, and by lowering intestine inflammation and movement. It also has antibacterial and antacid effects.
Type of medication
Available as
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
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5.327021121631464Pepto Bismol
Reviews for Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate)
of people say Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate) is worth it
say it works well
say it's a big hassle
Side effects

We haven’t found good data for Pepto Bismol side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Pepto Bismol »
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • Children or teenagers that have or are recovering from flu/flu-like symptoms or chickenpox
  • Women of childbearing age
  • Asthma
  • Rhinitis
  • Nasal Polyps
  • Aspirin Allergy
  • NSAID Allergy
  • History of stomach bleeding or ulcers
  • Bleeding problem
  • Age 60 or older
  • Taking blood thinners
  • Drinking 3 or more alcoholic drinks a day
  • Age 60 or older
Detailed Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

See the FDA package insert
No specific alcohol-related info.
No specific food-related info.
Kidneys and liver
No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
No specific sex-related info.
No specific sleep-related info.
No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
  • Most people who take Pepto Bismol feel there's no hassle and it's definitely worth it!
  • It's can also be used as part of treatment plan for H. Pylori., a stomach infection. H. Pylori is thought to be one of the reasons some people get ulcers.
  • It comes in caplets, liquid, and chewable tablets so you can use it anywhere you need it.
Downsides and risks
  • You might be surprised that Pepto Bismol can cause temporary darkening of your tongue, but it's harmless.
  • Doesn't treat every intestinal infection so make sure you let your doctor know if your diarrhea and symptoms last more than 2 days or your symptoms get worse. You may need a stronger medicine.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
  • Chew or dissolve chewable tablets in mouth.
  • Shake Pepto Bismol liquid well before using. Use dosing cup that comes with bottle to get the best dose.
  • You can take a dose every 1/2 to 1 hour but don't take more than 8 doses in 24 hours.
  • Chewable tablets and liquid are not for children under 12 years.
  • Use until diarrhea stops but not more than 2 days. Let your doctor know if your symptoms don't go away after 2 days.
  • Don't take Pepto Bismol if you have an allergy to aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • Don't give Pepto Bismol to children or teenagers who have or are getting better from chickenpox, the flu or other viral sickness because of the risk of getting Reye's Syndrome. Reye's syndrome causes brain and liver damage.
  • Can temporarily make your tongue and stools darker.
  • Stop taking Pepto Bismol and tell your doctor if you notice ringing in your ears, unusual bleeding, or nausea and vomiting.
  • Not a good choice if you have stomach bleeding, bleeding problems, diabetes, gout or are taking medicines to thin your blood.
Learn more
More about Pepto BismolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert