Children's Hospital Colorado

Bismuth Subsalicylate (Kaopectate, Pepto-Bismol)

Disclaimer: The below information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational and reference purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information. Please call your primary care provider or our ParentSmartTM Healthline with any questions. Pediatric nurses are available 24/7 at 720-777-0123.

You can take bismuth subsalicylate if you have diarrhea or an upset stomach.


  • Kaopectate or Pepto-Bismol: Take 2 tablets or 2 tablespoons (30 ml)
  • If you keep having diarrhea you can take a dose every hour. You can take up to 8 doses in 24 hours.
  • Do not take more than 8 doses in 24 hours.
  • Do not use for more than 2 days.

Extra Notes and Warnings:

  • This is an over-the-counter (OTC) drug. You can buy it at the drugstore.
  • This drug may cause your tongue or stools to look dark or even black. This is temporary. It goes away after you stop taking the drug.
  • Tell your doctor if you have an ulcer, bleeding problem or kidney disease.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking a blood thinner.
  • Do not take this drug if you are allergic to aspirin.
  • Do not take this drug if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Common Brand Names:

  • Kaopectate
  • Pepto-Bismol
  • Pink Bismuth

Read the instructions and warnings on the package insert for all medicines you take.