Can you take pepto while pregnant?


Diarrhea, feeling sick and having heartburn are all bad. Pepto-Bismol can help with these and other digestive problems, like an upset stomach, gas, and feeling too full after eating.

If you’re pregnant, you’ve probably had these kinds of stomach problems before. You might be wondering if Pepto-Bismol is a safe way to ease your pain. Here is what research says about using “the pink stuff” while pregnant or nursing.

Is it safe to take Pepto-Bismol when you are pregnant?

This is a hard question that doesn’t have a clear answer.

Even though Pepto-Bismol can be bought without a prescription, it’s still important to think about how safe it is. Bismuth subsalicylate is what makes Pepto-Bismol work.

The American Family Physician did a review in 2014 that said you shouldn’t take Pepto-Bismol during your second and third trimesters. This is because the closer you are to give birth, the more likely it is that you will have bleeding problems.

But there is disagreement about whether or not it is safe to take at any time during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

If your doctor tells you to take Pepto-Bismol during the first three months of your pregnancy, it’s probably best to use it as little as possible and only after talking to your doctor about it.

Here are some other things to think about when using Pepto-Bismol while pregnant:

Lack of research

The drug subsalicylate, which is a bismuth salt of salicylic acid, is what makes Pepto-Bismol work. Salicylates aren’t thought to cause a lot of trouble. But there are no conclusive clinical studies about subsalicylates and pregnant women.

That’s because it wouldn’t be right to test drugs on pregnant women because the effects on the fetus would be unknown.

Pregnancy category

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not put Pepto-Bismol into a category for use during pregnancy. Since it’s not known for sure if Pepto-Bismol is safe for pregnant women to take, most experts say it’s best to stay away from it.

Mistakes at birth

Research has not shown a link to birth defects, nor has it shown that there is no link.

Still not sure? The best thing for you to do is to talk to your doctor about all of this information. Your doctor can tell you more about the risks and benefits of taking Pepto-Bismol while you are pregnant.

They can also help you figure out if taking Pepto-Bismol is safe for you and your pregnancy.

If you and your doctor decide that taking Pepto-Bismol during the first few months of your pregnancy is safe, follow the directions on the package. Make sure you don’t take more than the recommended amount and try to take as little as possible.

Is it safe to take Pepto-Bismol if you are breastfeeding?

Like when you’re pregnant, it’s not clear how safe Pepto-Bismol is when you’re breastfeeding. It hasn’t been tested in a clinical setting to see if Pepto-Bismol gets into breast milk. But it is known that other kinds of salicylates can get into breast milk and could hurt a baby who is being breastfed.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that women who are breastfeeding should be careful when taking salicylates like Pepto-Bismol. And the National Institutes of Health says that you should find something else to use instead of Pepto-Bismol.

If you are breastfeeding, you should talk to your doctor about whether or not Pepto-Bismol is safe for you.

Alternatives to Pepto-Bismol

To be safe, you can always talk to your doctor about other ways to treat your digestive problems while you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Your doctor might suggest that you try other medicines or natural cures. Among these choices, the following are possible:

For diarrhea

  • loperamide (Imodium)

For acid reflux or heartburn

  • cimetidine (Tagamet)
  • famtidine (Pepcid)
  • nizatidine (Axid)
  • omeprazole (Prilosec)

For sickness

If you feel sick or have an upset stomach, your doctor may suggest natural remedies. You could try ginger, peppermint tea, or pyridoxine, which is also called vitamin B-6. You could also try wearing wristbands that make you feel less sick.

Talk to your physician.

If you are worried about taking any medicine while pregnant or breastfeeding, including Pepto-Bismol, the best thing to do is talk to your doctor. Ask any questions you might have, such as:

  • Is it safe to take an over-the-counter medication while I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?
  • How long and how often can I take medication?
  • What should I do if my digestive symptoms last longer than a few days?

With your doctor’s help, you should be able to get rid of your stomach problems and get back to enjoying your pregnancy.


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