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Pepto-Bismol is used to treat an upset stomach, heartburn, indigestion and nausea. Signs include belching and the feeling of fullness. The active ingredient is known as bismuth subsalicylate. It belongs to the drug class known as salicylates.
How effective is Pepto Bismol?
Pepto-Bismol has been scientifically tested and proven to be highly effective in treating diarrhoea and other stomach conditions. It is a licensed drug rather than a supplement and it is helping people to manage upset stomach conditions if used as directed.
Pepto Bismol does not require a prescription although you are very welcome to book an appointment with a health expert at Click Pharmacy to discuss how best to use this product. It can be purchased in 120ml or 240ml bottles and can be sent directly to you by Next Day Delivery.
What dose should I chose?
Adults can take Pepto-Bismol for up to two days. If your condition lasts longer than two days or if you have ringing in your ears, then discontinue the Pepto-Bismol and consult your physician or doctor.
How should I take Pepto Bismol?
If you are going to take the Pepto-Bismol, then the following instructions must be followed:
The original liquid Pepto Bismol includes 30 milliliter (ml) cup, that is one dose, thus delivering 525 milligrams of bismuth subsalicylate. The usual recommendations for taking Pepto-Bismol are:
One 30 ml dose every 30 minutes as required for the stomach upset, indigestion, nausea and heartburn.
One 30 ml dose every 30 minutes or two doses every hour for diarrhea or the traveler’s diarrhea.
It is also warned not to take more than 8 doses in time of 24 hours.
How does Pepto Bismol work?
Pepto-Bismol is thought to treat diarrhea by:
Increasing the amount of fluid your intestines absorb
Reducing inflammation and over-activity of your intestines
Preventing your body’s release of a chemical called prostaglandin that causes inflammation
Blocking toxins produced by bacteria such as E. coli
Killing other bacteria that cause diarrhea
The active ingredient, bismuth subsalicylate, also has antacid properties that can help to decrease heartburn, nausea and upset stomach.
How long do I take Pepto Bismol for before I notice a difference?
Pepto-Bismol should not be taken for longer than 48 hours without consulting a health professional.
What are the side effects of Pepto Bismol?
Like all other medicines, Pepto-Bismol does have side effects that are as the following:
Common side effects of Pepto-Bismol are:
Black, hairy tongue
Pepto-Bismol contains the substance bismuth. When this substance gets mixed with sulfur, then another substance is formed which is called bismuth sulfide. This substance is black in color. When it forms in the digestive tract, it gets mixed with the food as one digests it. So, this makes the stool black.
Ringing in the ears is an uncommon and serious side effect of the Pepto-Bismol. If you feel this then stop taking the Pepto-Bismol and consult your physician.
These side effects are quite harmless. All of the above effects are temporary and can be reduced within a few days after the intake of Pepto-Bismol has stopped.
When shouldn’t I take Pepto Bismol?
Pepto-Bismol is usually safe for most people, but one should avoid it if he or she have some health conditions. Pepto-Bismol can make those health conditions worse. It must not be taken if you:
have a bleeding or an active ulcer
are allergic to the salicylates that includes NSAIDs or aspirin like naproxen, celecoxib and ibuprofen
are a teenager that is recovering from flu or chickenpox
have a kidney problem
Bismuth salicylates can also cause many problems for people with other medical conditions. Before taking this product, consult your physician or doctor.
What is the difference between Pepto Bismol, Alka-Seltzer and Maalox?
The main difference between the Pepto-Bismol, Alka-Seltzer and Maalox is the active ingredient they contain. Pepto-Bismol contains bismuth salicylate, Alka-Seltzer contains aspirin and Maalox contains Aluminium hydroxide and Magnesium hydroxide. They are all used as treatment options for upset stomach.
Always read the patient information leaflet before starting your treatment. The patient information leaflet can be found here
Content reviewed 06 April 2020, Last updated 06 April 2020
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