The invention of what we now know as Pepto-Bismol coincided with other health advances,
such as milk pasteurization and public campaigns advocating hand washing. These
advances knocked infant diarrhea out of the top spot on the list of causes of death
for infants in the United States.
The early success of Pepto-Bismol presented a production crisis for its inventor,
who couldn't make enough product in his home to satisfy demand. He brought his formula
to what was then called the Norwich Pharmacal Company in Norwich, New York. Norwich
Pharmacal had a way to increase production dramatically – by manufacturing it in
Norwich added the remedy to its catalog for medical professionals, with the product
name Bismosal: Mixture Cholera Infantum. Norwich tinkered with the doctor's formula
a bit and advertised the improved product as an "elegant, pleasantly flavored" mixture
suitable for children because it contained no opiates.
During the 1920s, Pepto-Bismol was sold at drugstore soda fountains. This print
ad promoted large bottles with stoppers, from which druggists dispensed single doses.
Over the years, studies found that bismuth subsalicylate is the ingredient that
makes Pepto-Bismol work, and that is listed as the active ingredient today.
Bismosal's name was changed in 1919 to Pepto-Bismol. The name change made it easier
for Norwich to promote the product for use by adults. As Pepto-Bismol, the product
became Norwich's leading nonprescription drug.
Pepto-Bismol came to the Procter & Gamble Company as part of the Company's acquisition
of Norwich Eaton Pharmaceuticals in 1982. It's now sold in several countries around
© 2014 Procter & Gamble. All Rights Reserved. All copy and claims valid only in the U.S. This website intended for U.S. residents only.
*Use as directed for relief of diarrhea or upset stomach due to overindulgence in food and drink, including: heartburn, indigestion, nausea, gas, belching and fullness. If your symptoms get worse or last more than 2 days, stop use and consult your physician. Children's Pepto relieves heartburn, sour stomach, acid indigestion, and upset stomach due to these symptoms or overindulgence.
**Based on Pharmacy Times OTC Survey, 2013-2014