Over-the-counterLower-cost generic availableClass: Gastrointestinal


(bismuth subsalicylate)

Over-the-counterLower-cost generic availableClass: Gastrointestinal
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Relieves heartburn, upset stomach, and diarrhea.

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Our bottom line

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.


  • 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.
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  • 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.
How it works

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.

What to expect when you take Pepto-Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate) for Antidiarrheal|Antacid

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Side effect rates for Pepto-Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate)

Risks and Warnings for Pepto-Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Children or teenagers that have or are recovering from flu/flu-like symptoms or chickenpox

    Pepto-Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate) contains an aspirin-like product called salicylate, which can cause a serious condition called Reye's syndrome that damages the liver and brain. Do not give to children or teenagers who have signs of the flu, chickenpox, or other viral infections, as this puts them at risk of Reye's syndrome.