Bismuth Subsalicylate: Uses & Side Effects

Bismuth subsalicylate is an antacid and anti-diarrhea medication.

Bismuth subsalicylate is used to treat diarrhea, nausea, heartburn, indigestion, and upset stomach.


Before taking this medicine

This medication should not be given to a child or teenager who has a fever, especially if the child also has flu symptoms or chicken pox. Subsalicylate can cause a serious and sometimes fatal condition called Reye’s syndrome in children.

You should not use bismuth subsalicylate if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • a stomach ulcer;
  • a recent history of stomach or intestinal bleeding; or
  • if you are allergic to salicylates such as aspirin, Doan’s Extra Strength, Salflex, Tricosal, and others.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take bismuth subsalicylate if you have:

  • fever;
  • mucus in your stools;
  • diabetes;
  • arthritis; or
  • gout.

Ask a doctor before using bismuth subsalicylate if you are pregnant.

Bismuth subsalicylate can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are breast-feeding a baby.


Side effects

Stop taking bismuth subsalicylate and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • hearing loss or ringing in your ears;
  • diarrhea lasting longer than 2 days; or
  • worsened stomach symptoms.

Common side effects include:

  • constipation;
  • dark colored stools; or
  • black or darkened tongue.

Keyword: bismuth subsalicylate

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.