Can You Take Pepto Bismol while Pregnant and Breastfeeding?

Pregnant Woman Taking medication during Pregnancy
Medically reviewed by Dr. Ola Tarabzuni

Key Takeaways

  • Pepto-Bismol or Pink Medicine is the Brand/common name for Bismuth Subsalicylate( an Anti Inflammatory Medicine)
  • It’s not safe to use pepto bismol while breastfeeding. Always consult your physician before taking any medication when pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Natural remedies include peppermint or ginger tea which not only provides comfort to stomach upset but you will feel an instinct fresh feeling.


Taking any medication while pregnant is not just a piece of cake as it comes with great caution, we obviously don’t want to affect us or the baby(fetus). While practicing caution pregnant women tend to have nausea, heartburn and most importantly stomach discomfort. Over the counter drugs like Bismuth Subsalicylate or “the pink stuff ”called Pepto-Bismol can be easy to go medication but It’s not clinically proven to be safe. 

Confused? Let’s dive into a bit of in-depth knowledge of taking Pepto-Bismol while pregnant.

Is Pepto-Bismol safe to take during pregnancy?

The one-word answer to the question is “No”. because when we face the blurry answer from clinical research, we go with the safer option. Which is “It’s better to avoid than to get hurt or affect your baby”.

The very main and common reason to not use Bismuth subsalicylate is the Salicylate presence in the formula Pepto-Bismol which is an “Anticoagulant”, or blood thinning agent, similar to that of aspirin. The main effect of Pepto-Bismol is that it affects the stomach lining if taken persistently and causes internal bleeding if taken in the third trimester (near to delivery).

Your daily diet also has a major effect on your medication whether they are over the counter or prescription drugs. Salicylates have potential side effects if taken persistently on an empty stomach or without meal consumption.

Why avoid Pepto-Bismol in pregnancy? Speak with Online Doctor

Is it safe to use Pepto-Bismol when breastfeeding?

After the pregnancy era. It’s not safe to use pepto bismol while breastfeeding because there is not enough clinical evidence to support the notion of taking it and it is not affecting the baby in any regards. Again, going with the safer options will be beneficial. 

We might have crossed the period of 9 months safely, but it’s still not safe to take any medicine without consultation.

In case you accidentally took the Bismol and read the article after that, get in touch with the physician or your healthcare practitioner as soon as possible.

Can you take Pepto chewable while pregnant?

You can take Pepto-Bismol in any dosage form whether in the form of chewable tablets or soft gelatin easy swallowing tabs. It still lacks enough evidence to support its prescription or usage. The reason why we don’t have enough evidence is that it’s difficult or almost impossible to put a pregnant lady to pepto bismol clinical trials.

It’s better to go with the alternatives that are available for conditions like stomach discomfort or diarrhea including Loperamide (Imodium) or natural remedies including ginger or peppermint tea for stomach issues. 

What can you take for an upset stomach while pregnant?

Upset stomach includes cramps, Irregular pain or Diarrhea. Your healthcare provider may ask you to follow a BRAT diet (Bananas, rice, applesauce, toast or tea) for stomach upsets while pregnant. Mostly natural remedies are prescribed as the alternative to Pepto Bismol.

Alternatives to Pepto Bismol

Natural remedies include peppermint or ginger tea which not only provides comfort to stomach upset but you will feel an instinct fresh feeling as well.

For Diarrhea: Loperamide (Imodium)  prescription helps greatly in pregnancy.

For stomach burn or acid reflux: medications like Omeprazole, Famotidine or Cimetidine will be prescribed in doses according to your age, weight and medication history.

Changing the diet and dividing it into several meals in a day also helps greatly in reducing morning sickness, nausea and vomiting in pregnant women. 

Are you facing bleeding problems after taking pepto-bismol? Consult an online doctor

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FAQs About Taking Pepto-Bismol

What Can You Take For Nausea While Pregnant?

Pregnancy-related nausea can be treated with medicines like Dimenhydrinate (Formula) and Diphenhydramine as they are commonly prescribed by healthcare providers and are safe to use. Although nausea and vomiting in pregnancy are considered common symptoms they are treated with ginger or peppermint tea.

Can bismuth subsalicylate cause miscarriage?

Due to lack of medical evidence, it’s unclear that it can cause miscarriage but taken in the third trimester can cause internal bleeding. It’s better to avoid salicylates for safer pregnancy with fewer complications.

Does Pepto-Bismol cross the placenta?

Studies showed that It can cross the placenta and can cause harm to babies but there are not enough clinical trials that proved it.  It’s safe to not use salicylates just like aspirin and avoid them entirely, especially in the Third Trimester to stay on the safer side.

What happens if I accidentally take Pepto while pregnant?

It’s better to consult your healthcare provider as soon as possible to get the medical consultation as it can cause several effects like internal bleeding and stomach pain. Let us book your appointment for a quick online consultation with just one click.

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