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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:

You should not use this medicine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to bismuth subsalicylate, aspirin, or to other pain and arthritis medicines (such as ibuprofen, Advil®, Aleve®, Motrin®, Orudis®). You should not use this medicine if you have a stomach ulcer, any kind of bleeding problem, 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. Do not use this medicine if you are also using another salicylate medicine (such as mesalamine, Asacol®, Doan's® Pills, or Pentasa®).

How to Use This Medicine:

Tablet, Chewable Tablet, Liquid

  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • Follow the instructions on the medicine label if you are using this medicine without a prescription.
  • You may take this medicine with or without food.
  • This medicine is not for long-term use.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • Chew the chewable tablet thoroughly before you swallow it. You may also let the chewable tablet melt slowly in your mouth.
  • Swallow the tablet ("caplet") whole with a full glass of water. Do not chew, crush, or break it.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • 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.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

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

  • Ask your doctor before using this medicine if you are also using a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin®), diabetes medicine (insulin or oral medicine such as glipizide, glyburide, metformin, Actos®, Avandia®, Glucotrol®, Glucophage®, Glucovance®), pain or arthritis medicine (such as diclofenac, etodolac, indomethacin, Celebrex®, Daypro®, Dolobid®, Feldene®, Indocin®, Relafen®, Voltaren®), or probenecid (Benemid®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Ask your doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant or breast feeding, or if you have diabetes, gout, or arthritis.
  • Check with your doctor before using this medicine if you have a fever or blood in your stool.
  • Aspirin can cause a rare but serious illness called Reye's syndrome in children and teenagers. Bismuth subsalicylate might also cause Reye's syndrome. If a child has behavior changes along with nausea and vomiting while using this medicine, call the child's doctor right away.
  • Ask your doctor before you take any medicine to stop severe diarrhea.
  • 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 this medicine and call your doctor.
  • Your tongue or stool may turn a dark color when you use this medicine. This is normal and should go away soon after you stop using this medicine.

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
  • 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: 4/4/2014
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