Compare omeprazole vs. Pepto-Bismol

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

ADVERTISEMENT
Treats heartburn and excess release of stomach acid.

Prilosec (omeprazole) gives you long-lasting heartburn relief but has some risks if used long term.

4.0/ 5 average rating with 1167 reviewsforomeprazole
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
  • Prilosec (omeprazole) lasts longer (up to 72 hours) than other classes of acid reducers (like Zantac, Pepcid, or Tums).
  • Only take once or twice daily.
  • Can take together with a quick-acting antacid (like Maalox or Tums) for quick relief.
  • Generic and over-the-counter options available.
  • Safe to use in children ages 1 or older.
  • 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
  • Takes up to an hour to start noticing the effects of Prilosec (omeprazole).
  • Prilosec (omeprazole) can interact with other drugs. Let your doctor and pharmacist know what medications you're taking before starting Prilosec (omeprazole).
  • Long-term use of Prilosec (omeprazole) can put you at risk for many health issues such as osteoporosis, low magnesium or vitamin B12 levels, and rebound acid secretion (where your body starts to create more acid than before after stoping Prilosec (omeprazole)).
  • 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.
ADVERTISEMENT
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Powder
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Price
Want to save even more money?
Sign up now for a 30-day trial and save up to 95% at CVS, Kroger, Albertsons, and other pharmacies.
Learn more
Reviews
1167 reviews so far
80%
saidit'sworth it
59%
saiditworked well
8%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Prilosec (omeprazole)?

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
11possible side effects
  • Headache
    7%
  • Abdominal pain
    5%
  • Nausea
    4%
  • Diarrhea
    4%
  • Vomiting
    3%
  • Flatulence
    3%
  • Acid regurgitation
    2%
  • Upper respiratory infection
    2%
  • Constipation
    2%
  • Dizziness
    2%
  • Rash
    2%
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
  • Risk of cancer
  • Lupus
    • History of cutaneous or systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Severe diarrhea associated with C.difficile infection
    • Being hospitalized
    • Antibiotic use
  • Bone fractures
    • Osteoporosis
    • Using high medication doses
    • Long-term therapy (1 year or more)
    • Use of other medications that weaken bones
  • Low Vitamin B12 and Magnesium
    • Taking water pills (Magnesium)
    • Women (Vitamin B12)
    • Over the age of 30 (Vitamin B12)
  • Kidney damage
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