Over-the-counterLower-cost generic available

Pepto Bismol Alternatives

(Bismuth Subsalicylate)

  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Back to: Full Site Navigation

Compare Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate) to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate) or used for similar purposes.

Pepto Bismol
(Bismuth Subsalicylate)

Alka-Seltzer Original
(Aspirin / Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate)

Imodium
(Loperamide)

Maalox
(Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone)

Pepcid
(Famotidine)

Rolaids
(Calcium Carbonate / Magnesium Hydroxide)

Tums
(Calcium Carbonate)

Zantac 75
(Ranitidine)

Relieves heartburn, upset tummy and diarrhea. Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate) does it all, from upset stomach to crampy diarrhea.Relieves heartburn, headache, and body pains. Alka-Seltzer Original (Aspirin / Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate) gives quick relief for headache, body pains, and upset tummies, but might be hard to swallow if you don't like the taste or fizz.Treats diarrhea. One day is too many days to have diarrhea. Having Imodium (Loperamide) on hand to relieve your symptoms can be a life-saver.Relieves heartburn and acid tummy. Maalox (Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone) gives quick relief for heartburn, gas, and bloating. It may not be as effective or last as long as alternative antacids though.Relieves heartburn. Pepcid (Famotidine) works well for heartburn but may not last as long or start working as quickly as other antacids.Relieves heartburn and acid tummy. Rolaids (Calcium Carbonate / Magnesium Hydroxide) gives quick relief for heartburn, but don't expect it to last all day.Relieves heartburn. Tums (Calcium Carbonate) gives quick relief for heartburn, but don't expect it to last all day.Relieves heartburn. Zantac 75 (Ranitidine) works well for heartburn but may not last as long or start working as quickly as other antacids.
Find lowest prices
Powered by GoodRxSave on your next prescription. Be sure you’re getting the lowest price for your medication, even if you have insurance.
No pricing data for this drug at this filter setting. Try searching onGoodRx
Loading pricing data...
Loading pricing data...
Loading pricing data...
Loading pricing data...
Loading pricing data...
Loading pricing data...
Loading pricing data...
Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
5.327021121631464Pepto Bismol
Reviews for Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate)
84%
of people say Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate) is worth it
48%
say it works well
6%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Alka-Seltzer Original (Aspirin / Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate)
81%
3% vs. Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate)
52%
+4% vs. Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate)
8%
2% vs. Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate)
Reviews for Imodium (Loperamide)
89%
+5% vs. Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate)
64%
+16% vs. Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate)
6%
Same vs. Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate)
Reviews for Maalox (Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone)
68%
16% vs. Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate)
30%
18% vs. Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate)
9%
3% vs. Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate)
Reviews for Pepcid (Famotidine)
75%
9% vs. Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate)
41%
7% vs. Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate)
8%
2% vs. Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate)
Reviews for Rolaids (Calcium Carbonate / Magnesium Hydroxide)
75%
9% vs. Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate)
37%
11% vs. Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate)
7%
1% vs. Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate)
Reviews for Tums (Calcium Carbonate)
82%
2% vs. Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate)
43%
5% vs. Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate)
5%
+1% vs. Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate)
Reviews for Zantac 75 (Ranitidine)
72%
12% vs. Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate)
43%
5% vs. Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate)
7%
1% vs. Pepto Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate)
Side effects
Pepto BismolAlka-SeltzerImodiumMaaloxPepcidRolaidsTumsZantac

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

FDA side effect reports for Pepto Bismol »

We haven’t found good data for Alka-Seltzer side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Alka-Seltzer »

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

More about Imodium side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Maalox »

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

More about Pepcid side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Rolaids »

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

FDA side effect reports for Tums »

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

More about Zantac side effects »
How it works
Pepto BismolAlka-SeltzerImodiumMaaloxPepcidRolaidsTumsZantac
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.Alka-Seltzer Original (Aspirin / Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate) is a combination medicine. Sodium bicarbonate is an antacid that relieves heartburn and acid tummy (indigestion). Aspirin is a pain reliever that treats headache and body pains.Imodium (Loperamide) is an antidiarrheal medicine. It's actually an opioid related to morphine, though it doesn't affect the brain like opioid pain medicines do. Instead, it works directly on muscles in your large intestine to stop contractions and increase the time it takes for stool to move through. The result is less diarrhea and more formed stool.Maalox (Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone) is a combination medicine for stomach trouble. Aluminum and magnesium are antacids that relieve heartburn and acid tummy (indigestion). Simethicone relieves gas and bloating.Pepcid (Famotidine) is a type of antacid called an H2 blocker. It blocks the chemical histamine, which lowers acid production in your stomach. This treats heartburn and helps ulcers heal.Rolaids (Calcium Carbonate / Magnesium Hydroxide) is an antacid. It counteracts the effects of stomach acid to relieve heartburn and acid tummy (indigestion).Tums (Calcium Carbonate) is an antacid. It counteracts the effects of stomach acid to relieve heartburn and acid tummy (indigestion).Zantac 75 (Ranitidine) is an H2 blocker. It blocks the chemical histamine, which lowers acid production in your stomach. This treats heartburn and helps ulcers heal.
Type of medication
Pepto BismolAlka-SeltzerImodiumMaaloxPepcidRolaidsTumsZantac
Antidiarrheal
Antisecretory
Over-the-counter
AntacidOver-the-counter
Antidiarrheal
Antimotility
Over-the-counter
AntacidOver-the-counter
Acid reducer
Histamine blocker
Prescription or OTC
AntacidOver-the-counter
AntacidOver-the-counter
Acid reducer
Histamine blocker
Prescription or OTC
Available as
Pepto BismolAlka-SeltzerImodiumMaaloxPepcidRolaidsTumsZantac
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • Chewable tablet
  • Effervescent tablet
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Injection
Used for (click to learn more)
Pepto BismolAlka-SeltzerImodiumMaaloxPepcidRolaidsTumsZantac
Risk factors for serious side effects
Pepto BismolAlka-SeltzerImodiumMaaloxPepcidRolaidsTumsZantac
  • 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 »
Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.
Pregnancy category
Pepto BismolAlka-SeltzerImodiumMaaloxPepcidRolaidsTumsZantac
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
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
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

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.

See the FDA package insert
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
BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

See the FDA package insert
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
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
BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

See the FDA package insert
Alcohol
No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
Food
No specific food-related info.
  • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
No specific food-related info.
  • Take 1-3 hours after a meal.
No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
Kidneys and liver
No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
  • People with kidney disease may need to avoid Maalox. Ask your doctor.
  • Can cause more serious side effects for people with kidney disease. Ask your doctor to give you a lower dose or choose a different option.
  • People with kidney disease on dialysis may need to take a lower dose or avoid use. Your doctor can do blood tests to see if it's safe to use.
  • People with kidney disease on dialysis may need to take a lower dose or avoid use. Your doctor can do blood tests to see if it's safe to use.
  • People with kidney disease may need to take a lower dose.
Sex
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
Sleep
No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
Weight
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
  • The correct dose of Imodium may be different depending on age. Use the dosing chart to find the right amount of medicine based on age and weight.
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
Pepto BismolAlka-SeltzerImodiumMaaloxPepcidRolaidsTumsZantac
  • 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.
  • Works great if you have an upset stomach and a headache or body pain at the same time.
  • Works really fast.
  • Available over the counter without a prescription.
  • Cheap.
  • Most people who take Imodium feel there's no hassle and it's definitely worth it!
  • Non-habit forming and available over-the-counter.
  • Imodium is used for short-term, chronic and traveler's diarrhea. It's also used for people who have diarrhea caused by cancer or certain medicines that treat cancer.
  • It comes in caplets, liquid, and chewable tablets so you can use it anywhere you need it.
  • Works really fast.
  • Available over the counter without a prescription.
  • Cheap.
  • Most people can take Famotidine without any noticeable day-to-day side effects.
  • Famotidine lasts longer than many other antacids like Maalox and Tums, and you only need to take it once or twice a day.
  • You can take it in combination with a quick-acting antacid (like Maalox or Tums) if you need relief right away.
  • Available as both a generic and over-the-counter option, so it's pretty affordable.
  • Few drug interactions.
  • Works really fast.
  • Available over the counter without a prescription.
  • Cheap.
  • Works really fast.
  • Available over the counter without a prescription.
  • Cheap.
  • Most people can take Ranitidine without any noticeable day-to-day side effects.
  • Ranitidine lasts longer than many other antacids like Maalox and Tums, and you only need to take it once or twice a day.
  • You can take it in combination with a quick-acting antacid (like Maalox or Tums) if you need relief right away.
  • Available as both a generic and over-the-counter option, so it's pretty affordable.
  • Few drug interactions.
Downsides and risks
Pepto BismolAlka-SeltzerImodiumMaaloxPepcidRolaidsTumsZantac
  • 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.
  • Because it has aspirin in it, it increases the risk of bleeding, especially if you take any other blood thinning medicine.
  • Can't be used by people with allergy to aspirin.
  • You may not like the taste or fizz.
  • Doesn't last very long.
  • Other antacids like Zantac (H2 blockers) and omeprazole (proton pump inhibitors) can work better and last longer.
  • Imodium only treats your diarrhea symptoms. Diarrhea may be caused by a number of conditions and will need specific treatment that deals with the underlying issue.
  • Studies in people taking Imodium for chronic diarrhea showed if the maximum number of doses didn't relieve symptoms in 10 days, then it probably won't work for that condition. You can talk to your doctor about other treatment options.
  • Some people don't care for the taste.
  • Doesn't last very long.
  • Other antacids like Zantac (H2 blockers) and omeprazole (proton pump inhibitors) can work better and last longer.
  • Other antacids like Maalox, Tums, or Rolaids often start to work more quickly than Famotidine.
  • Medication like omeprazole (proton pump inhibitors) works better at healing and preventing stomach ulcers than medication like Famotidine (H2 blockers).
  • Can cause more serious side effects for people with kidney disease. Ask your doctor to give you a lower dose or choose a different option.
  • Doesn't last very long.
  • Other antacids like Zantac (H2 blockers) and omeprazole (proton pump inhibitors) can work better and last longer.
  • Some chalky aftertaste.
  • Doesn't last very long.
  • Other antacids like Zantac (H2 blockers) and omeprazole (proton pump inhibitors) can work better and last longer.
  • Some chalky aftertaste.
  • Other antacids like Maalox, Tums, or Rolaids often start to work more quickly than Ranitidine.
  • Medication like omeprazole (proton pump inhibitors) works better at healing and preventing stomach ulcers than medication like Ranitidine (H2 blockers).
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
Pepto BismolAlka-SeltzerImodiumMaaloxPepcidRolaidsTumsZantac
  • 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.
  • Don't take Alka-Seltzer if you're allergic to aspirin.
  • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
  • This medicine isn't recommended for kids 12 and younger because it has aspirin in it.
  • Stop taking this right away and talk to your doctor if you have ringing in your ears, rash, trouble breathing, unusual bleeding, or nausea or vomiting that doesn't go away.
  • Having a dental or medical procedure? You may need to stop taking this before the big day. Ask your dentist or doctor.
  • Alka-Seltzer contains sodium. If you need to follow a low sodium diet a different medication would be better for you.
  • Not a good choice if you have stomach bleeding, bleeding problems, diabetes, or gout, or if you're taking medicines to thin your blood.
  • Try to drink plenty of clear liquids. Having diarrhea can make you dehydrated.
  • The correct dose of Imodium may be different depending on age. Use the dosing chart to find the right amount of medicine based on age and weight.
  • Shake Imodium liquid well before using. Use dosing cup that comes with bottle to get the best dose.
  • Imodium lowers your ability to focus, think, and react. Avoid activities that require you to be alert, such as driving a car or operating machinery, until you know how this medication affects you.
  • Check with your baby doctor before using if you're breastfeeding.
  • Ask your doctor before taking Imodium if you have a fever, liver problems, mucus in your stool or are taking antibiotics.
  • Don't use if you have blood in your stool or it's dark or black in color.
  • Stop using Imodium and call your doctor if you have pain, swelling or bulging in your belly or your symptoms get worse after 2 days. This could be serious.
  • Take 1-3 hours after a meal.
  • Tell your doctor if you have severe diarrhea or constipation.
  • People with kidney disease may need to avoid Maalox. Ask your doctor.
  • Take 1-2 hours apart from other medication that you take by mouth.
  • Short-term treatment of ulcers and acid reflux.
  • Take at the first sign of discomfort.
  • You might need to take more than once a day but pay attention to the instructions on your bottle to avoid overdosing.
  • Take 1-2 hours apart from other medication that you take by mouth.
  • If heartburn doesn't improve or lasts more than 2 weeks, talk to your doctor.
  • People with kidney disease on dialysis may need to take a lower dose or avoid use. Your doctor can do blood tests to see if it's safe to use.
  • Don't take if you have high blood calcium levels.
  • You need to separate Tums from some medications to avoid interactions.
  • Take at the first sign of discomfort.
  • You might need to take more than once a day but pay attention to the instructions on your bottle to avoid overdosing.
  • If heartburn doesn't improve or lasts more than 2 weeks, talk to your doctor.
  • People with kidney disease on dialysis may need to take a lower dose or avoid use. Your doctor can do blood tests to see if it's safe to use.
  • Don't take if you have high blood calcium levels.
  • Works best if you take it with a full glass of water.
  • Starts working in one hour.
  • People with kidney disease may need to take a lower dose.
  • If heartburn doesn't improve or lasts more than 2 weeks, talk to your doctor.
Learn more
More about Pepto BismolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about Alka-SeltzerSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
More about ImodiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
More about MaaloxSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
More about PepcidSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
More about RolaidsSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
More about TumsSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
More about ZantacSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert