Bismuth Sulfate

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bismuth sulfate is an antacid medication and is used to treat gastrointestinal discomfort. It is also used to prevent traveler’s diarrhea and relieve associated abdominal cramps.

The active ingredient in Pepto-Bismol is bismuth subsalicylate. It is a salt of bismuth oxychloride and salicylate that reacts with hydrochloric acid in the stomach. The salicylate moiety inhibits intestinal prostaglandin formation and stimulates mucus production. It also has antimicrobial and antisecretory action and may bind to enterotoxins.

Dosage and administration:

Take the oral suspension (liquid) or tablet exactly as directed by your doctor, using the dosing syringe provided. The oral suspension should be shaken well before each use. The doses should not exceed 8 times a day, but should be taken within 24 hours.

If you have a history of hives, difficulty breathing or swelling of your face, lips or tongue, tell your doctor before taking this medicine. You should not take this medicine if you are allergic to salicylate pain relievers such as aspirin, choline magnesium trisalicylate (Arthropan), diflunisal, salsalate, or magnesium salicylate (Doan’s, Dologid, Ecotrin, Tricosal, and others).


If it is possible that you have taken too much of this medication, call your doctor right away. Overdose symptoms include weakness, depression, anxiety, feeling irritable, problems with balance or coordination, confusion, tremors or jerky muscle movements.

Overdose is usually fatal. It is especially dangerous if you have ever had a heart attack, liver disease or kidney problems.

Bismuth subsalicylate is a safe and effective medication for treating and preventing diarrhea. However, it is not recommended for children under the age of 12 years because there are limited data on its use in this population. It is a valuable agent in the management of gastrointestinal discomfort and travelers’ diarrhea but should be administered as part of a multidisciplinary team approach.