Is it safe to use pepto-bismol during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
It depends on your situation. If you are pregnant, then yes, it’s fine to use it. However if you are not pregnant, then no, it’s not safe to use.
What does this mean exactly?
Protein is found in all foods. But when you eat certain kinds of food, these proteins may cause problems for your baby. For example, some types of milk protein might make your baby have diarrhea (diarrhea). Other types of milk protein might make him/her sick with a fever (fever) or even death (death). So, the best thing to do is avoid eating any kind of dairy products during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
If you are breastfeeding, then there is another problem. Some proteins found in cow’s milk may harm your baby’s digestive system. These include casein, whey, lactose and soy.
You should avoid eating any type of meat or fish during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
How much pepto-bismol can I safely take while pregnant?
Pepto-bismol is safe to take during pregnancy. But do not take more than the recommended dose. You should also avoid alcohol while taking this medicine. This is because alcohol can make some of the drug stay in your body for a long time. This can increase the risk of side effects.
How much pepto-bismol can I safely take while breastfeeding?
You should not take any kind of medicine if you are breastfeeding. This is because your baby could be harmed.
What happens if I have already taken pepto-bismol while pregnant or breastfeeding?
If you are pregnant and have taken the medicine, contact your doctor right away. In most cases, the baby will be fine. But it is best to be sure by doing an ultrasound on your baby’s abdomen.
If you are breastfeeding and have taken the medicine, you should not worry. The amount of medicine you took will not harm your baby. But it is best to talk to your doctor about the risks.
Also, you should not take any medicine without talking to your doctor first. It may be helpful to talk to a pharmacist too.
Is it safe to use pepto-bismol while pregnant or breastfeeding?
Pepto-bismol is safe to use during pregnancy and while you are breastfeeding. You can also use it safely if you are planning to get pregnant soon.
Pepto-bismol can prevent or treat several conditions that affect the digestive system. These include:
upset stomach caused by germs, food or vomiting
heartburn and indigestion
nausea and vomiting caused by a virus (like the stomach flu)
Pepto-bismol comes in different forms, including liquid, chewable tablets, capsules, caplets and a suspension (liquid). It temporarily coats the lining of your stomach and intestines to control these conditions.
The medicine contains the active ingredient bismuth subsalicylate. It works by changing the make-up of the stool. This helps to prevent infection and allow the lining of the digestive system to heal.
Pepto-bismol should not be used on babies younger than one year old. In fact, children should take an appropriate dose based on their weight.
The medicine can pass into your milk. This can affect a nursing infant.
It can be dangerous to take this medicine if you have certain health conditions. These may include:
stomach or intestine bleeding
hemorrhoids or recent surgery of the stomach or intestines
a history of a certain type of ulcer caused by a bacteria called H. pylori
Tell your doctor if you have any of these conditions.
Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding. The doctor will decide if you should take this medicine.
Before taking Pepto-bismol
Do not take Pepto-bismol if you are allergic to bismuth subsalicylate or any other salicylate.
Do not take Pepto-bismol if you have a milk protein allergy or lactose intolerance.
Do not take bismuth subsalicylate if you have kidney disease, are on a low salt diet or have dehydration.
Do not take this medicine if you are also taking potassium (Cytra) or any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). This includes Advil, Motrin, Aleve and others.
Do not take this medicine within 1 hour before taking an antacid, milk or iron supplements. It may keep these medicines from working properly.
Make sure your doctor knows if you have any allergies or if you have problems with your blood cells. This medicine may hide symptoms of a condition called G6PD deficiency. This condition can be serious.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known if Pepto-bismol will harm an unborn baby. Do not take this medicine without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.
It is not known if Pepto-bismol passes into the milk of nursing mothers. Do not take this medicine without first talking to your doctor if you are breastfeeding a baby.
Do not give this medicine to a child under one year of age.
How should I take Pepto-bismol?
Take Pepto-bismol exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.
Pepto-bismol is available with or without a prescription.
If you are taking this medication without a prescription, follow the instructions on the label. These directions are for adults and teenagers. If you are 60 or over, consult your doctor.
Take this medication by mouth, usually four times a day. Take the morning and evening doses at least one hour before or two hours after a meal.
For best results, do not take for more than 10 days unless directed to by your doctor.
If you are taking this medication with a prescription, take the first dose as listed on the label or by your doctor. Follow the instructions from there.
To clear up your infection completely, continue taking this medication for the full course of treatment even if you think your are better.
If you stop taking this medication too soon, your symptoms may come back.
Do not give this medication to others even if their symptoms seem similar to yours.
Store this medication at room temperature and protect it from light and moisture. Keep the bottle tightly closed. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of the medication.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking Pepto-bismol?
Follow your doctor’s instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Pepto-bismol side effects
limited effectiveness and the development of multiple drug-resistant bacteria. This can cause a relapse of the original infection, and also complicate the treatment of any future infections due to the constant exposure to low doses of antibiotics.
Stop taking this medication and seek immediate medical attention if you experience an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives). Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or especially bothers you.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What can I do to prevent antibiotic resistance?
Antibiotic resistance is created by the overuse of antibiotics. They are designed to kill invading bacteria, but when a person takes a drug to kill a bug, and it kills the bug, but the bug returns because it developed immunity to that one drugs. Not only does this mean the drugs stop working, but it also increases the chance a more deadly drug-resistant bug will develop.
Acquired resistance naturally occurs when bacteria survive in the presence of antibiotics. The survivors then pass on their ability to resist the antibiotic to their offspring cells.
Appropriate use of antibiotics is one way to prevent the spread of resistant organisms within a community or hospital setting.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are called “superbugs” because they can overcome our current drugs.
Use antibiotics only when prescribed by a physician, and take the entire course of treatment even if you feel better. This is important to kill all the bacteria during treatment. Stopping treatment too soon or not taking a full course of the medicine may result in drug resistance developing.
Do not demand antibiotics from your physician if you do not really need them.
Do not pressure your physician for antibiotics in the case of a cold or the flu. A virus is the cause of these illnesses and antibiotics do not kill viruses; they only kill bacteria.
If you feel a cold or flu symptoms such as a sore throat, runny nose, or aches and pains, stay home and keep away from others until you have received medical advice.
Wash your hands often when you are sick.
If you are ill, keep away from others as much as possible.
What is the FDA doing to prevent the spread of resistant bacteria?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provides information about how to prevent the spread of drug-resistant bacteria on its Web site at (LINK REMOVED) and (LINK REMOVED).
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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Sources & references used in this article:
Over-the-counter medications in pregnancy by RA Black, DA Hill – American Family Physician, 2003 – aafp.org
The use during pregnancy of prescription, over‐the‐counter, and alternative medications among Hispanic women by J Bercaw, B Maheshwari, H Sangi‐Haghpeykar – Birth, 2010 – Wiley Online Library
Over-the-counter medications in pregnancy by J Servey, JG Chang – American family physician, 2014 – aafp.org
Health concerns of women and infants in times of natural disasters: lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina by WM Callaghan, SA Rasmussen, DJ Jamieson… – … and child health journal, 2007 – Springer
Breastfeeding and over-the-counter medications by FJ Nice, JL Snyder… – … of Human Lactation, 2000 – journals.sagepub.com
Constipation and diarrhea in pregnancy by ES Bonapace Jr, RS Fisher – Gastroenterology Clinics of North America, 1998 – Elsevier