What is this medication?

BISMUTH SUBSALICYLATE (biz muth sub sa LIS i late) treats occasional diarrhea. It may also be used to treat the symptoms of an upset stomach including heartburn, indigestion, and gas. It belongs to a group of medications called antidiarrheals.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Bismatrol, Peptic Relief, Pepto-Bismol, Pepto-Bismol To-Go, Pink Bismuth

What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • Bleeding problems
  • Fever
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Recent vaccination with chickenpox vaccine
  • Recent viral illness, such as the flu or chickenpox
  • Ulcer
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to bismuth subsalicylate, aspirin, other salicylates or other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

Take this medication by mouth. Follow the directions on the label. Chew or let the tablet dissolve in your mouth. Do not take your medication more often than directed.

Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. While this medication may be used in children as young as 12 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medication?

Do not take this medication with any of the following:

  • Methotrexate

This medication may also interact with the following:

  • Aspirin and aspirin-like medications
  • Medications for diabetes
  • Medications for gout
  • Medications that treat or prevent blood clots like warfarin

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

What should I watch for while using this medication?

Tell your care team if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse. Do not treat diarrhea for more than 2 days without talking to your care team. Call your care team as soon as you can if you get a fever, or nausea and vomiting. These could be symptoms of a more serious illness.

Drink plenty of clear fluids to help prevent dehydration caused by diarrhea.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Bleeding—bloody or black, tar-like stools, vomiting blood or brown material that looks like coffee grounds, red or dark brown urine, red or purple spots on skin, unusual bruising or bleeding
  • Hearing loss, ringing in ears

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):

  • Black stools
  • Constipation
  • Dark or black tongue

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Do not freeze. Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

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