Pepto-Bismol sometimes turns stool black when its active ingredient, bismuth subsalicylate, reacts with sulfur in the intestinal tract to form bismuth sulfide. The change in stool color caused by Pepto-Bismol isn't harmful, but a doctor should be consulted if it is accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea or stomach pain, states About.com.Know More
Pepto-Bismol is a brand-name, over-the-counter bismuth subsalicylate medication used to treat diarrhea, heartburn, nausea and upset stomach. It is taken by mouth, with recommended dosage varying based on a person's age and condition, according to WebMD. Individuals taking liquid Pepto-Bismol should shake the bottle vigorously before each dose, and those using Pepto-Bismol chewable tablets should be sure to chew each tablet well before swallowing.
In addition to causing black stool, Pepto-Bismol commonly causes a black tongue, notes WebMD. This discoloration is harmless and goes away once the use of Pepto-Bismol is discontinued. Rare, serious side effects include bleeding from the stomach and bleeding from the small intestines. Individuals should stop taking Pepto-Bismol immediately and contact a physician if they experience bloody stools, persistent abdominal pain or vomit that resembles coffee grounds. Signs of an allergic reaction requiring emergency medical care include difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, itching, rash and severe dizziness.Learn more about Medications & Vitamins
According to Consumer Reports, Pepto Bismol should be avoided during pregnancy. Before 20 weeks of pregnancy, Pepto Bismol can be taken in moderation, but it isn't recommended. After 20 weeks, Pepto Bismol should not be taken at all.Full Answer >
Dogs can take Pepto-Bismol. It is one of a handful of over-the-counter medications which are designed for human use and also safe for dogs. The main concern with giving a dog Pepto-Bismol is drug interactions, especially with aspirin, as one of the active ingredients of Pepto-Bismol reinforces aspirin's side effects.Full Answer >
Pepto-Bismol contains the active ingredient bismuth subsalicylate, a substance that coats the gastrointestinal tract, reduces inflammation and kills bacteria such as E. coli, according to NetDoctor. Scientists are unsure how this process works. Pepto-Bismol also reduces irritation and pain by decreasing secretions in the digestive tract.Full Answer >
Common side effects of Pepto-Bismol include darkening of the stools and tongue, according to WebMD. Rarely, serious side effects occur while taking Pepto-Bismol, such as ringing in the ears, hearing loss and bleeding in the stomach or intestines. It's best to report serious side effects to a physician immediately.Full Answer >