The generic name of Pepto-Bismol is bismuth subsalicylate. This med is administered for the treatment of nausea, upset of stomach as well as heartburn or GERD. As an extended use, it is also taken for travelers’ diarrhea. This drug essentially stops bacterial strands (that cause the above conditions) from growing and thus brings about needful relief. Though it is sold as an OTC drug, it is a safe thing to use it under the supervision of a qualified medical practitioner. But, how long do your stools remain dark when you take Pepto-Bismol? It is important to know more about this.

Pepto-Bismol is an antacid; it is popular drug sold as an over the counter (OTC) med. It is taken for managing signs of gastric problems like dyspepsia (indigestion), acid reflux / heartburn and / or discharge of watery stools. This antacid is available both as a liquid and as pills (capsules). These offering are sold in varying dosage strengths; your dosage plan depends on severity of your gastric discomforts, gender as well as presence on other hepatic or gastric ailments.

This med decreases the level of inflammation / internal swelling in your gastric system. As per reputed medical studies, its key ingredient – i.e., bismuth is known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-diarrheal capabilities. If you are taking blood thinning drugs or anticoagulant meds, this med is likely to trigger a few adverse reactions. Also, if your gastric discomforts persist for long, it is a good practice to talk to your treating doctor without much delay.

The med is more effective in treating infections of a microbial strand called H. pylori. The typical symptoms of an unchecked growth of this strand are experiencing a full stomach (almost all times), upset of tummy, indigestion, nausea accompanied by diarrhea. If you are living with one or more of these symptoms for more than 3 days, it is highly recommended to talk to your physician as quickly as possible.

How long do our stools remain darkened while you take Pepto-Bismol?

Discharge of darkened stools is a commonly experienced side effect among users of Pepto-Bismol. This effect is likely to continue for a few days – i.e., even after discontinuation of your dosage plan. However, it is not a severe side effect; you need not be worried when you witness dark stools. These effects may cease to show up after a few days. Once your system has completely discharged all residue of Pepto-Bismol, stools may turn normal.

In some cases, your tongue may also become dark. This is also a temporary and not a severe side effect. Your tongue may return to a normal color in a few days after stopping your medication plan.

On the other hand, continued discharge of darkened stools can also be a symptom of gastric bleeding, owing to internal bruises. Hence, darkened stool persist for more than say, 5 to 7 days’ time, talk to your treating doctor / pharmacist on an urgent basis.

As an extended safety measure: if you are allergic to drugs such as salicylate (which is an ingredient of drugs like aspirin, etc.), your caregiving team must be made aware of such allergies. In such cases, a few severe side effects such as inflammation of oral parts, itchiness or other skin conditions are likely to show up. It becomes a vital thing to tell your caregiver of such allergies; your medical team will prescribe safer alternatives to avoid undesired / counterproductive reactions.

In a few remote instances, some users experienced ringing deep inside ears as well as marginal loss of hearing soon after taking Pepto-Bismol. Upon experiencing either of these effects, it is essential to stop taking this med and visit a healthcare setting as quickly as you possibly can.


Information provided here are only of supplementary nature. Information shared here does not substitute a qualified doctor’s advice. This website is not suggesting intake of this drug as safe or appropriate. Hence it is advised to talk to your doctor before consuming this med or any other drug.

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