" /> Common Pepto-Bismol Questions | Side Effects & Dosing

this heading is given for Accesibility scan

Common Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions that sometimes come up
when considering Pepto-Bismol.


I noticed that Pepto-Bismol sometimes darkens the tongue/stool. Why does this happen and how long does it last?

The active ingredient in Pepto-Bismol contains bismuth. When a small amount of bismuth combines with trace amounts of sulfur in your saliva and gastrointestinal tract, a black-colored substance (bismuth sulfide) is formed. This discoloration is temporary and harmless. It can last several days after you stop taking Pepto-Bismol. Individual bowel habits, your age (the intestinal tract slows down with age), and the amount of the product taken all help to determine how long Pepto-Bismol is in your system.

What does the label say about Reye's syndrome and bismuth subsalicylate, the active ingredient in Pepto-Bismol?

Children and teenagers who have or are recovering from chicken pox or flu-like symptoms should not use Pepto-Bismol. When using this product, if changes in behavior with nausea or vomiting occur, consult a doctor because these symptoms could be an early sign of Reye's syndrome, a rare but serious illness. Subsalicylate is chemically related to aspirin; therefore, includes similar warning statements.


Can I use Pepto-Bismol if I have certain gastrointestinal conditions (e.g., irritable bowel syndrome)?

We recommend that you consult your doctor to determine whether you should use Pepto-Bismol. Your physician knows your medical condition and history best.

Can I use Pepto-Bismol if I am pregnant or nursing?

If you are pregnant or nursing, ask a doctor before taking Pepto-Bismol. As with any drug, read the label thoroughly before use.

Is Pepto-Bismol OK for my pet?

Pepto-Bismol is for Humans. Consult with your vet for treatment.

I have been giving Pepto-Bismol to my child when he/she had an upset stomach – should I be concerned?

You should not be concerned if you have used Pepto-Bismol in the past for your children.
In the future, ask your doctor before using Pepto-Bismol in children under 12. You may try Children’s Pepto Antacid with kids over 2 for common stomach problems like heartburn, acid indigestion, sour stomach, and upset stomach from overindulgence in food and drink.

When can I take Pepto-Bismol?

When you are experiencing heartburn, indigestion, nausea, or upset stomach due to overindulgence in food or drink, or diarrhea or traveler's diarrhea. (Use as directed for diarrhea or overindulgence in food or drink.)

Should I take Pepto-Bismol with or without food?

Pepto-Bismol can be taken any time*, either with or without food.


Why is Pepto-Bismol pink?

Originally developed by a doctor in the early 20th century, the "pink stuff" has been treating a variety of stomach symptoms for generations. We’re not exactly sure why this doctor chose pink, but we know that we’re not going to mess with a good thing. Yup, we’ve got you covered.

Can I refrigerate Pepto-Bismol?

Yes, but it's not necessary. Some people feel refrigerating makes the dose more pleasing to take, and that's OK. However, you shouldn't freeze the product.

How do I open the bottles of Pepto-Bismol Liquid?

TO OPEN: Lightly squeeze both tabs located on each side of the neck of the package and turn the cap at the SAME time. TO CLOSE: Screw the cap back on (without squeezing the tabs) until it clicks.

What do I do if I spill Pepto-Bismol and it leaves a carpet stain?

For carpet stains, please note: If your carpet has a manufacturer's warranty, you need to contact the manufacturer for its stain removal instructions before you attempt to remove the stain. The manufacturer can refuse to honor the warranty if you use something other than what it recommends.


Pepto-Bismol Liquid Staining

  • If the carpet does not have a stain warranty, proceed with the following recommendations.
  • The stain should be treated as promptly as possible.
  • The stain should be blotted with a cloth (e.g., a white cotton towel or white paper towel) that has been dipped in warm water (100° F or 38° C). Continue blotting until the stain is no longer transferring to the cloth. DO NOT RUB STAIN. Rubbing spreads the stain and makes it penetrate deeper into the carpet.
  • Any remaining stain should be treated with hydrogen peroxide. Pour a small amount of hydrogen peroxide directly on the stain and blot (DO NOT RUB) the area with a clean, white cloth. Rinse cloth often in cool water and continue blotting until no further stain can be removed. Blot dry with a dry cloth (club soda may be used instead of hydrogen peroxide).
  • NOTE: Hydrogen peroxide or club soda should be tested in an inconspicuous area of the carpet to be sure the dyes are colorfast.


Pepto-Bismol Caplet and Tablet Staining

These products are a dry, solid dose form and should not stain fabric unless they become wet. Treatment recommendation is the same as the one used for Pepto-Bismol Liquid.

Why does the Pepto-Bismol label change from time to time?

Periodically, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may ask manufacturers of drug products to update their label information. Additionally our label is updated periodically to match refreshed marketing and design materials.

Why is Pepto-Bismol no longer recommended for use in children?

As of spring 2004, the FDA required the child dosing directions be removed from the label of all anti-diarrheal products containing bismuth subsalicylate, including Pepto-Bismol. The new dosing directions require that consumers speak with a doctor before giving Pepto-Bismol to children under 12.
How would you like to treat your symptom?