Bismuth subsalicylate - Benefits, dosage and side effects

Bismuth subsalicylate is a drug used to treat diarrhea in adults and adolescents. It can also be used to relieve stomach pain, heartburn, or nausea.

Bismuth subsalicylate works by slowing the growth of bacteria that cause diarrhea. In addition, this drug also has an anti-inflammatory effect and the ability to trigger the reabsorption of fluids and electrolytes, thereby reducing fluid loss due to diarrhea.

Bismuth subsalicylate can also be used to treat infections Helicobacter pylori, and its use will be combined with other drugs.

Bismuth subsalicylate trademark: Neo Adiar, New Sybarin, Scantoma

What is Bismuth Subsalicylate

groupLimited over-the-counter drugs
CategoryDiarrhea medicine
BenefitOvercome diarrhea, heartburn, and stomach pain
Consumed byAdults and children 12 years and over
Bismuth subsalicylate for pregnant and lactating womenCategory C:Animal studies have shown adverse effects on the fetus, but there are no controlled studies in pregnant women.

Drugs should only be used if the expected benefit outweighs the risk to the fetus.

Category D (in the third trimester): There is positive evidence of risks to the human fetus, but the benefits may outweigh the risks, for example in dealing with life-threatening situations.

Bismuth subsalicylate can be absorbed into breast milk. If you are breastfeeding, do not use this medicine without consulting your doctor first.

Drug formTablets and caplets

Precautions Before Taking Bismuth Subsalicylate

Before taking this drug, you need to pay attention to the following:

  • Do not take bismuth subsalicylate if you are allergic to this drug. Tell your doctor about any allergies you have.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or have had dysentery, gout, peptic ulcers, von Willebrand's disease, kidney disease, hemophilia, or any other blood disorder.
  • Talk to your doctor about using bismuth subsalicylate in children, especially those with chickenpox or influenza, because of the possibility of Reye's syndrome.
  • Tell your doctor that you are taking bismuth subsalicylate before having a radiological examination, as this drug can affect the results of radiological examinations of the digestive system.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking certain medications, supplements, or herbal products.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
  • See your doctor immediately if you have an allergic drug reaction, serious side effect, or overdose after taking bismuth subsalicylate.

Bismuth Subsalicylate Dosage and Directions for Use

The following are common doses of bismuth subsalicylate which are grouped according to the patient's condition:

Condition:Diarrhea, heartburn, nausea, stomach ache

  • Adults and children 12 years and over: 524 mg every 30–60 minutes. Do not exceed 8 drinks in 24 hours.

Condition:Infection Helicobacter pylori

  • Mature: 524 mg, combined with metronidazole and tetracycline, 4 times daily.

How to Consume Bismuth Subsalicylate Correctly

Follow your doctor's recommendations and read the information listed on the drug packaging label before taking bismuth subsalicylate. Do not reduce or increase the dose without consulting your doctor first.

Bismuth subsalicylate can be taken before or after meals. Swallow the medicine whole with the help of a glass of water. Do not crush or chew the tablets or caplets.

If the drug is used to treat diarrhea, it is advisable to drink lots of water. Avoid consuming fruits, vegetables, fried foods, spicy foods, sweets, caffeine, or alcoholic beverages, as these can make diarrhea worse.

Store bismuth subsalicylate at room temperature and away from direct sunlight. Keep this medicine out of reach of children.

Bismuth Subsalicylate Interactions with Other Drugs

The following are drug-drug interactions that may occur when bismuth subsalicylate is used with other drugs:

  • Decreased therapeutic effect of sulfinpyrazone, doxycycline, tetracycline, or probenecid
  • Increased levels of methotrexate in the blood
  • Increased risk of bleeding if used with blood thinning drugs, such as clopidogrel or warfarin
  • Increased risk of side effects when used with pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or naproxen
  • Increased risk of overdose if used with drugs containing salicylates, such as aspirin

Bismuth Subsalicylate Side Effects and Dangers

The most common side effect after using bismuth subsalicylate is a blackish stool or tongue. Check with your doctor if these side effects do not subside.

In addition, you should see a doctor immediately if you experience an allergic drug reaction or any of the following serious side effects:

  • Black vomit
  • Bloody or black stools
  • Severe stomach ache
  • Sudden ringing in the ears or deafness