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Is Pepto-Bismol Secure for Youngsters?

Many adults bear in mind a time when Pepto-Bismol was the very first thing they reached for every time anybody within the household, together with youngsters, had an upset abdomen, nausea, or diarrhea. Nevertheless, for security causes, Pepto-Bismol is not really helpful for teenagers beneath age 12.

As a substitute, a kids’s model of Pepto-Bismol is obtainable for teenagers aged 2 to 11. Alternatively, you may attempt a pure methodology to handle their signs. This is what you want to know concerning the risks of utilizing Pepto-Bismol for teenagers.

The Risks of Salicylates

Common Pepto-Bismol is a priority for kids as a result of its primary ingredient is bismuth subsalicylate, a by-product of aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid or ASA).

Drugs containing ASA are related to Reye’s syndrome, a quickly progressing mind dysfunction that is not absolutely understood. The situation sometimes develops in folks recovering from a viral an infection. A lot of the instances seen in kids concerned using aspirin to deal with widespread diseases resembling influenza and chickenpox.

Signs can begin with lethargy, nausea, and hyperventilation however rapidly progress to vomiting, seizures, and even coma. Though Reye’s syndrome is unusual, it’s a severe situation. If it isn’t recognized and handled successfully, loss of life can happen inside a number of days.

In the present day, the Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) advises in opposition to using bismuth subsalicylate in kids beneath 12 due to the danger of Reye’s syndrome. The warning extends to any grownup formulation of bismuth subsalicylate, together with oral suspensions, chewable tablets, and caplets.

Along with avoiding common Pepto-Bismol, mother and father ought to be conscious that Kaopectate and any product containing oil of wintergreen additionally include salicylates. 

Youngsters and youngsters who’ve or are recovering from chickenpox or the flu ought to keep away from Kaopectate because of the danger of Reye’s syndrome. In the meantime, oil of wintergreen ought to be averted in all kids and youths as its central part (methyl salicylate) isn’t meant for ingestion, even in diluted preparations.

Options to Pepto-Bismol

In case your youngster has indigestion, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, there are options to common Pepto-Bismol that will assist. These choices embrace a kids’s model of Pepto-Bismol, in addition to pure cures like altering your kid’s weight-reduction plan. Seek the advice of your kid’s pediatrician if these signs persist.

Youngsters’s Pepto

In response to the FDA warning, the producers of Pepto-Bismol created a kids’s formulation. In it, bismuth subsalicylate is changed by calcium carbonate. Pepto Youngsters Chewables are bubble gum-flavored chewable tablets. This formulation is accredited to be used in kids over the age of two.

Youngsters beneath 2 shouldn’t be given Pepto Bismol or any treatment containing bismuth, magnesium, or aluminum. These substances can quickly accumulate and trigger a doubtlessly severe poisonous response.

Dietary Adjustments

For upset abdomen and diarrhea, most pediatricians counsel providing your youngster a BRAT weight-reduction plan consisting of bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. These meals aren’t solely much less difficult to the abdomen, however additionally they have a binding impact that will assist relieve diarrhea.

For signs of indigestion, deal with dietary modifications to alleviate the abdomen of any irritation. Serve bland meals resembling crackers, dry toast, gelatin, and applesauce. Present clear fluids to sip, avoiding sugary drinks and acidic juices.

Minimize out any greasy meals, chocolate, and heavy spices till the signs are absolutely resolved. Provide smaller meals extra often fairly than three common meals per day.


With nausea and vomiting, the primary focus ought to be on retaining your youngster hydrated. Make sure that your youngster recurrently sips water or an electrolyte alternative drink till their abdomen settles. Flavored ice pops are additionally a pleasant option to encourage fluids.

Regularly supply bland meals and clear broth as soon as your youngster is ready to eat. Keep away from residence cures like heat milk or rice water, which aren’t acceptable alternative fluids.

Pure Cures

There are additionally quite a few pure cures that many individuals swear by. Brewed teas made with ginger, peppermint, chamomile, fennel, or licorice might assist relieve signs of an upset abdomen. (All are freed from caffeine.)

If you need an alternative choice to an over-the-counter antacid, attempt mixing a teaspoon of baking soda right into a mug of heat water. Even a little bit heat water with lemon juice has been recognized to do the trick.

Remember to seek the advice of your physician earlier than utilizing natural cures or over-the-counter dietary supplements, as most of those choices aren’t regulated by the FDA and could possibly be unsafe or dangerous to younger kids.

When to Name a Physician

If diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting are extreme or accompanied by any of the next, see a physician instantly:

  • Excessive fever (104 or larger)
  • Fever lasts greater than 24 hours in kids beneath age 2
  • Fever lasts greater than 72 hours in kids over age 2
  • Diminished urination
  • Lightheadedness
  • Blood

Diarrhea or vomiting that lasts for greater than 24 hours ought to at all times be thought-about severe and in want of pressing care.

A Phrase From Verywell

Having an upset abdomen is widespread in youngsters. It is comprehensible to need to attain for the closest factor that may assist your youngster really feel higher quick. But when your youngster is beneath age 12, that should not be grownup Pepto-Bismol.

As a substitute, attempt the youngsters’s model of Pepto-Bismol or pure strategies of easing their discomfort, and by no means hesitate to contact your kid’s pediatrician. Primarily based in your kid’s age, they will information you on what steps to take to ease your kid’s signs.

By Vincent Iannelli, MD

Vincent Iannelli, MD, is a board-certified pediatrician and fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Iannelli has cared for kids for greater than 20 years.

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