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Side Effects
Serious

Ringing in the ears. Call your doctor immediately.
Common

Black stools, darkening of the tongue.
Less Common

Nausea, vomiting (with high doses), abdominal pain, increased sweating, muscle weakness, hearing loss, thirst, confusion, dizziness, vision problems, trouble breathing. Discontinue the medicine and call your physician right away.
Bismuth Subsalicylate


Drug Class:
Antidiarrheal/antacid

Available OTC?: Yes

Available Generic?: Yes

Pepto-Bismol Caplets 262 mg
(Procter & Gamble)
Available In
Why Prescribed
How It Works
Range and Frequency
Onset of Effect
Duration of Action
Dietary Advice
Storage
Missed Dose
Stopping the Drug
Prolonged Use
Over 60
Driving and Hazardous Work
Alcohol
Pregnancy
Breast Feeding
Infants and Children
Special Concerns
Overdose Symptoms
What to Do
Drug Interactions
Food Interactions
Disease Interactions
 


Available In
Tablets, oral suspension

Why Prescribed
To treat heartburn, acid indigestion, diarrhea, and duodenal ulcers, and to help prevent traveler's diarrhea.

How It Works
Bismuth subsalicylate stimulates the passage of fluid and electrolytes across the wall of the intestinal tract, and binds or neutralizes the toxins of some bacteria, rendering them nontoxic. It decreases intestinal inflammation and increases the activity of intestinal muscles and lining.

Range and Frequency
Adults-- For acid indigestion or mild diarrhea: 2 tablets or 2 tablespoons of liquid every 30 to 60 minutes, to a maximum of 16 doses daily of the regular-strength drug for no more than 2 days. Children ages 9 to 12-- 1 tablet or 1 tablespoon every 30 to 60 minutes, to a maximum of 8 doses daily of the regular-strength drug for no more than 2 days. Children ages 6 to 9-- 2 teaspoons every 30 to 60 minutes, to a maximum of 16 doses daily of the regular-strength drug for no more than 2 days. Children under age 3-- Consult your pediatrician. Tablets are not recommended for children under the age of 9.

Onset of Effect
Within 30 to 60 minutes.

Duration of Action
Unknown.

Dietary Advice
A mild diet is recommended when recovering from diarrhea. Bananas, rice, applesauce, and plain toast are good choices. Be sure to get plenty of fluids.

Storage
Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat and direct light. Keep liquid forms of bismuth subsalicylate refrigerated, but do not allow the medicine to freeze.

Missed Dose
Take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosage schedule. Do not double the next dose.

Stopping the Drug
Take it as prescribed for the full treatment period. However, you may stop taking the drug if you are feeling better before the scheduled end of the therapy.

Prolonged Use
Prolonged use of this medicine may cause constipation. Consult your physician if relief is not achieved within two days.

Over 60
Adverse reactions may be more likely and more severe in older patients.

Driving and Hazardous Work
Do not drive or engage in hazardous work until you determine how this medicine affects you.

Alcohol
Alcohol intake should be limited.

Pregnancy
Regular use of this medicine late in pregnancy may harm the fetus or cause delivery problems. Consult your doctor about taking it if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Breast Feeding
Bismuth subsalicylate passes into breast milk; avoid or discontinue use while nursing.

Infants and Children
Consult your doctor before giving this medicine to a child or teenager who has or is recovering from chicken pox or flu.

Special Concerns
Do not take bismuth subsalicylate if you are allergic to aspirin or another salicylate, an anticoagulant, or a medicine for diabetes or gout. Do not swallow tablets whole. They should be crushed, chewed, or allowed to dissolve in the mouth.

Overdose Symptoms
Seizures, confusion, rapid or deep breathing, hearing loss or ringing or buzzing in the ears, severe excitability or nervousness, severe drowsiness, loss of consciousness.

What to Do
Call your doctor, emergency medical services (EMS), or the nearest poison control center immediately.

Drug Interactions
Consult your doctor for specific advice if you are taking anticoagulants, aspirin and other salicylates, oral diabetes medicine, heparin, probenecid, thrombolytic agents, oral tetracycline, or sulfinpyrazone.

Food Interactions
No known food interactions.

Disease Interactions
Caution is advised when using bismuth subsalicylate. Before taking this drug, tell your doctor if you have a history of allergies, diabetes, kidney disease, dehydration, stomach ulcers, dysentery, gout, or a bleeding problem.

Date Published: 04/13/2005
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