PEPTO-BISMOL, or "Pepto" for short, is a medicine used for the treatment of various gastrointestinal disorders, namely heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, nausea, and diarrhea. It is the only over-the-counter (OTC) medication which has been clinically proven to reduce upper and lower GI symptoms.


Pepto-Bismol comes in various forms, but only one flavor; pink. The primary product is the liquid which most of us are familiar with, as well as chewable tablets, and caplets. The liquid is syrupy and has a somewhat chalky taste to it, though the texture is fairly smooth. It clearly disagrees with some people, including myself, and has a tendency to come back up. This does tend to quiet one's stomach down, however.


Pepto-Bismol was invented in 1901 by a doctor in New York, as a response to cholera infantum, an illness which caused severe diarrhea and vomiting. The forumula, which he originally called Mixture Cholera Infantum, consisted of pepsin, bismuth salicylate, zinc salts, salol and oil of wintergreen, and a colorant to make it pink. Unfortunately for him, instead of selling it and making the money to capitalize on it himself, he took his formula to what was then the Norwich Pharmacal Company in Norwich, New York. Somewhere along the line they seem to have forgotten his name, and the rest of the history proceeds without him. They sold his formula as "Bismosal: Mixture Cholera Infantum". They renamed it to Pepto-Bismol in 1919 in order to sell it to adults. Procter & Gamble Company got their hands on Norwich Eaton Pharmaceuticals in 1982, and Pepto-Bismol along with it.


Pepto-Bismol bottles carry a date code which tells when they expire. On the bottle it will say EXP and then the code follows. The first two characters are the month, then the next two indicate the last two digits of the year. The following information indicates the plant and batch the bottle comes from.

You are cautioned not to use the product past the expiration date as "the ingredients may not be stable after the expiration date."


Assuming you do not have a carpet warrantied against stains, you should blot the stain with a warm, damp paper towel, and then get the rest of the product out of the carpet with the use of hydrogen peroxide, blotting it with a cloth.


Each tablespoon (15ml) of Pepto-Bismol contains 262mg bismuth subsalicylate. Each tablespoonful contains a total of 130mg non-aspirin salicylate. Pepto-Bismol liquid contains no sugar and is low in sodium (less than 5mg/tablespoonful). Inactive ingredients: benzoic acid, D&C Red No. 22, D&C Red No. 28, flavor, magnesium aluminum silicate, methylcellulose, saccharin sodium, salicylic acid, sodium salicylate, sorbic acid and water.
From the 2001 PDR, pp. 2663


Children and teenagers are at risk of Reye Syndrome if they consume any salicylates while they have influenza or chicken pox - aspirin or not. Pepto-Bismol contains no aspirin, but does have various other salicylates which can have the same effect. People intolerant of aspirin will most likely not do well with Pepto either. It should be used only carefully in the case of those with diabetes or gout, or when taking anticoagulants.

In case of overdosage, the usual procedure (generally carried out at one's local poison control center) is to induce vomiting via syrup of ipecac, followed by the consumption of activated charcoal. There is a danger of toxic levels of salicylates.


Website: Pepto-Bismol (

Website: OSG Norwich (

"Pepto-Bismol(R) Original Liquid, Original and Cherry Tablets, And Easy-to-Swallow Caplets". Physician's Desk Reference. 2001. pp. 2663

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