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Is Pepto Bismol Safe in pregnancy?

Pepto-Bismol is a brand name for Bismuth subsalicylate, a medication used to treat diarrhea. Bismuth subsalicylate is broken down in the stomach to bismuth salts and sodium salicylate.

In a study that included fifteen women who had used bismuth salts during the 1st trimester, bismuth salts did not appear to pose a large risk to the fetus. However, the number of reported cases is too small to draw firm conclusions regarding the  risk of bismuth in human pregnancy.

Studies on the use of salicylates (full-dose aspirin) during pregnancy have shown an increased risk for fetal adverse effects, including premature closure of the ductus arteriosus .

Consider using an alternative medication such as loperamide


Briggs GG,Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ, Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation: A Reference Guide to Fetal and Neonatal Risk 9th edition, Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins,2011 p 97, 149


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