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Bismuth subsalicylate (By mouth)

Bismuth Subsalicylate (BIZ-muth sub-sa-LIS-i-late)

Treats diarrhea, heartburn, nausea, and upset stomach. This medicine contains a salicylate and is related to aspirin.

Brand Name(s):

Bismatrol, Diotame, Diotame InstyDose, Diotame Stomach Relief, Good Neighbor Pharmacy K-Pec, Good Neighbor Pharmacy Stomach Relief, Good Sense Stomach Relief, Helidac Therapy, Kao-Tin, Kaopectate, Kaopectate Children's, Kola-Pectin, Peptic Relief, Pepto Bismol, Pepto Bismol Max

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to bismuth or to salicylates, or if you have a stomach ulcer or any kind of bleeding problem.

How to Use This Medicine:

Tablet, Chewable Tablet, Liquid

  • Follow the instructions on the medicine label if you are using this medicine without a prescription.
  • This medicine is not for long-term use.
  • Chewable tablet: Chew the tablet thoroughly before you swallow it. You may also let the tablet melt slowly in your mouth.
  • Tablet: Swallow the tablet whole with a full glass of water. Do not chew, crush, or break it.
  • Liquid: Shake well before use. Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • The liquid medicine may be kept in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not use this medicine if you are also using another salicylate medicine, such as aspirin.
  • Some medicines can affect how bismuth works. Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following:
    • Arthritis medicine
    • Blood thinner medicine, such as warfarin
    • Diabetes medicine
    • Gout medicine

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have diabetes, gout, arthritis, or bloody or black stools.
  • Do not give this medicine to a child or teenager who has chicken pox or symptoms of a virus or the flu, unless your doctor has told you to. This medicine may cause a rare but serious illness called Reye syndrome.
  • This medicine can cause diarrhea. Call your doctor if the diarrhea becomes severe, does not stop, or is bloody. Do not take any medicine to stop diarrhea until you have talked to your doctor. Diarrhea can occur 2 months or more after you stop taking this medicine.
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse. If you still have diarrhea after you have been using this medicine for 2 days, stop using it and call your doctor.
  • Your tongue or stools may become dark when you use this medicine. This is only temporary and will not hurt you. Ask your doctor about this if you have any concerns.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Behavior changes along with nausea and vomiting (in children or teenagers)
  • Rectal bleeding, blood or mucus in your stools
  • Ringing in your ears, or changes in your hearing

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 10/4/2014


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