Compare Imodium vs. Pepto-Bismol

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

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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.

4.2/ 5 average rating with 285 reviewsforImodium
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.

3.9/ 5 average rating with 1376 reviewsforPepto-Bismol
Upsides
  • Most people who take Imodium feel there's no hassle and it's definitely worth it!
  • Non-habit forming and available over-the-counter.
  • It comes in caplets, liquid, and chewable tablets so you can use it anywhere you need it.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Price
No pricing information available
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Reviews
285 reviews so far
89%
saidit'sworth it
65%
saiditworked well
6%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Imodium (Loperamide)?

Leave a review
1376 reviews so far
84%
saidit'sworth it
48%
saiditworked well
6%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Pepto-Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate)?

Leave a review
Side effects
1possible side effects
  • Constipation
    3%
See more detailed side effects
The Pepto-Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Allergic reactions
    • Allergy to loperamide
  • Driving impairment
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Liver problems
    • Current liver problems
  • Serious intestinal problems
    • Taking HIV medicines
    • Active infectious colitis
  • Risk to fetus
    • Women of childbearing age
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Reye's syndrome
    • Children or teenagers that have or are recovering from flu/flu-like symptoms or chickenpox
  • Allergy to salicylates
    • Aspirin allergy
    • NSAID allergy
  • Hearing problems
    • Age 60 or older
  • Drug Interactions
    • Anticoagulants
    • Aspirin-containing medications
See more detailed risks and warnings