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Rated 3.8/5 based on 8 reviews

Pepto-Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate) is a medicine which is used to relieve upset stomachs and other stomach discomforts. Pepto-Bismol can treat symptoms of heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, nausea, and diarrhea. The original form of Pepto-Bismol comes as a pink liquid. It is also available in a cherry flavor, as a maximum strength liquid, and in tablet form.

Pepto-Bismol side effects

The most common side effects of Pepto-Bismol are a darkened or discolored tongue or darkened or black stools.


Review by Kim

Generic brand Pepto has helped my IBS, digestive issues and constipation...believe it or not. I have been taking around 10 to 15ml a day for a little over a week and have had better bowel movements then I have had for months. I think it has a healing aspect also!

Review by Patricia

I have had IBS for 30 years. It is usually under control with very little medication needed. I do get heartburn also, so my son suggested that I try Pepto-Bismol tablets. Well, after two doses of it I was in agony with my IBS.

The pain went away in a day, but the bloated, stuffy feeling lingered for a week. I should have remembered that Peptol-Bismol contains an ingredient chemically related to aspirin, which also affects my IBS, which means that I should never have tried it.

Review by Amy

I have IBS with severe cramping. I've given birth twice and would rather do that any day than experience one of my worst IBS attacks. Nothing short of prescription pain meds can touch the pain and sometimes they don't even work.

I never dreamed that Pepto could help but I've discovered it really does. If taken at the first sign of an attack it can result in a less severe attack or even stop one altogether. It doesn't always work, especially if a bad attack is already in full swing before I take it, but it works well enough that I will never be caught without it again.

Review by Jennifer

I have had IBS-D for 13 years (diagnosed) along with ulcerative colitis. Taking Pepto in tablet form once per day when I have flare-ups helps immensely. I don't have the urgency and no explosives. Of course, I have to be very careful about what I eat, limiting full-fat dairy and spicy foods. In addition, I find that eating smaller meals takes away part of the risk of flare-ups.

Review by Christie

I was diagnosed with IBS in March 2005. After two hospital visits, four medications that made me gain 40 pounds in six months, and finally giving up on living a pain-free life...I started taking Pepto. During my very severe IBS attacks, it does little to help. However, if I take it at the start of my symptoms, it usually knocks out my pain. Unfortunately I have to carry this with me everywhere I go, but it's better than taking four different medications for this. The generic brand has never worked oddly enough. I use the liquid form so it hits me faster. Only beans and broccoli affect my IBS, along with any type of stress. So, Pepto really helped with the pain.

Review by Jeff

Pepto-Bismol has been a Godsend. Nothing has worked for my gas and bloating before. I take half a pill with each meal and it prevents the symptoms. I was concerned with long-term use for many years and contacted PhDs in pharmacy and they said that the bismuth was inert and the only thing to watch was the salycilates which are similar to aspirin.

Review by Crystal

I have IBS-D, and my doctor suggested that I take Pepto-Bismol along with Lomotil and Imodium-AD. Actually, she suggested that I take as much of the Pepto as I needed, up to the maximum dose, every day. She also mentioned that since the Pepto coats the stomach and intestine, it is very beneficial to try to 'rebuild' the digestive tract and hopefully restore some regularity. It mainly helps me with nausea and urgency, but I still have diarrhea. But at least when I take Pepto-Bismol I don't have to run to the bathroom as quickly!

Review by Gina

Pepto-Bismol works pretty well for me when I really need it in an emergency, although the instructions say you can't take it for more than two days at a time. It doesn't prevent diarrhea attacks. However, if I do happen to get diarrhea it helps to stop the pain, and within an hour or so I feel a lot better.

The only adverse reaction I've ever experienced was temporary blackening of the tongue and stools (which is completely harmless and a normal side effect of the medication). If I need temporary pain relief and/or I want to stop a diarrhea attack, Pepto-Bismol is great to take, but not on a long-term basis.

Do you suffer from IBS? Have you tried Pepto-Bismol? Please contact Sophie to send in your review.

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