Compare Questran vs. Pepto-Bismol

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.


(bismuth subsalicylate)

Coming soon.Relieves heartburn, upset stomach, and diarrhea. Pepto-Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate) can help for many stomach and intestinal problems, but may take longer to work compared to some other anti-diarrheal medicines.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Questran (cholestyramine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Pepto-Bismol
+16% better vs. Questran
+52% better vs. Questran
+6% better vs. Questran
1376 reviews
Have you used Pepto-Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate)?
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Side effects

We haven’t found good data for Questran side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Questran »

The Pepto-Bismol FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Pepto-Bismol side effects »
How it works
Coming soon.Pepto-Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate) reduces inflammation and irritation in the stomach by reducing the amount of water that goes into the stool. It also has antibacterial and antacid properties.
Type of medication
Available as
  • Liquid
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Used for
  • Hypercholesterolemia Adjunct Pruritus Of Skin
Risk factors for serious side effects
    Coming soon.
    • Children or teenagers that have or are recovering from flu/flu-like symptoms or chickenpox
    • Aspirin allergy
    • NSAID allergy
    • Age 60 or older
    • Anticoagulants
    Detailed Pepto-Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate) risks & warnings »

    Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

    Upsides and benefits
    Coming soon
    • Pepto-Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate) works well to alleviate stomach and intestinal problems and doesn't have many side effects.
    • Comes in easy to take chewable pills or liquid, if you do not like swallowing pills.
    • Is inexpensive and available over the counter.
    • Coupons are available. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
    Downsides and risks
    Coming soon
    • May not be as strong as other anti-diarrheal or antacid medications.
    • Should not be used for more than 2 days if your diarrhea does not go away or if you have a fever.
    • For symptoms other than diarrhea, should not be used for more than 7 days without your doctor's approval. Speak to your doctor if symptoms persist.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    Coming soon
    • If you have the liquid product, make sure to shake well before use.
    • Non-chewable pills should be taken with a full glass of water.
    • Pepto-Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate) may cause your tongue and stool to become dark, this is normal. However, contact your doctor right away if you notice bloody stools, or if you are vomiting blood or a substance that looks like coffee grounds.
    • Diarrhea can cause you to be dehyrated and lose electrolytes. Make sure to stay hydated. Rehydration solutions are available over-the-counter. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
    • Eating smaller meals and avoiding eating 3 hours before bedtime can help prevent heartburn.
    Learn more
    More about QuestranSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
    Have you used Questran (cholestyramine)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about Pepto-BismolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Pepto-Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it