When you have heartburn or acid indigestion, you need something to settle your stomach quickly, especially if you are prone to GI distress. It’s a good idea to keep an over-the-counter antacid on hand for quick relief. These drugs can reduce the amount of stomach acid you produce.
The stomach normally produces hydrochloric acid to aid digestion and kill bacteria or other organisms that we may have consumed with the food. When the stomach produces too much acid, it can cause discomfort.
When purchasing an antacid, look for active ingredients that reduce stomach acid, such as omeprazole. We researched and evaluated dozens of antacids based on their active ingredients, price, dosing schedule, flavor, and symptoms.
You’ve probably heard of “the pink stuff.” Pepto-Bismol is a well-known OTC medication used to treat digestive issues.
If you’re feeling queasy, keep reading to find out what to expect and how to use Pepto-Bismol safely.
What Exactly is Pepto-Bismol?
Pepto-Bismol is used to treat diarrhea and to alleviate the symptoms of a stomach upset. Among these symptoms are:
- a feeling of fullness
Bismuth subsalicylate is the active ingredient in Pepto-Bismol, and it belongs to the salicylates drug class.
Pepto-Bismol is available in caplet, chewable tablets, and liquid forms in regular strength, and it is available in liquid and caplet form in maximum strength. All forms are taken orally.
How does it Work?
Pepto-Bismol is thought to treat diarrhea by:
- increasing the amount of fluid your intestines absorb
- decreasing inflammation and overactivity of your intestines
- blocking toxins produced by bacteria such as Escherichia coli
- killing other bacteria that cause diarrhea
- Bismuth subsalicylate, the active ingredient, also has antacid properties that can help relieve heartburn, upset stomach, and nausea.
Some Top Substitutes for Pepto Bismol
Acid Reducer Prilosec OTC Delayed-Release
Prilosec was chosen as our top pick because it contains omeprazole, which decreases the amount of food-digesting acid produced by the cells in your stomach lining. Omeprazole was one of the first antacids in the class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors; newer ones such as esomeprazole and dexlansoprazole are thought to be more potent; omeprazole is usually enough to control symptoms in the majority of cases.
The Prilosec OTC dosage is straightforward: one pill daily for 14 days, every four months (or up to three times per year). It may take the full 14 days for the drug to take effect, but once it does, you should experience fewer heartburn and acid indigestion symptoms until your next course is due.
Original Pepto Bismol Liquid
Pepto Bismol is the most recognizable OTC medication for sour stomachs with its fluorescent pink color, chalky texture, and minty (or cherry) flavor. It’s been around for a long time because it works. Dr. Ghouri suggests that people suffering from mild, intermittent heartburn turn to this easily accessible option, which also treats nausea and diarrhea symptoms.
Pepto Bismol, also known as bismuth subsalicylate, is available in various forms, including chewable tablets and capsules, but the liquid variety cools the burn as it dissolves. Eating it coats your stomach and reduces inflammation, which can prevent your stomach from producing too much acid.
Two tablespoons of the liquid can be taken every 30 to 60 minutes for eight doses in 24 hours. We should note that taking Pepto Bismol regularly can cause constipation. Also, consult a doctor before giving Pepto Bismol to a child or teenager who is also experiencing flu-like or chicken pox symptoms.
Antacid Tablets TUMS Chewy Bites
Let’s face it: you’re already feeling nauseous and uneasy; the last thing you want to do is choke down a nausea-inducing medication to feel better. This is where the smoothie variety of chewable TUMS shines; these tablets dissolve quickly, neutralizing all that unpleasant acid brewing in your stomach.
TUMS Chewy Bites are made with calcium carbonate, a mineral that effectively reduces acid while also cleaning your teeth, making your cakes rise, and strengthening your bones.
However, too much can cause constipation, so stick to the recommended dosage.
Chewable Rolaids Extra Strength Antacid Tablets
You may have been advised to increase your magnesium intake if you have a history of GI issues such as diarrhea, constipation, bloating, or indigestion. This is because magnesium improves nerve and muscle function and can help smooth digestive hiccups.
Many products that treat acid reflux, heartburn, and indigestion contain magnesium, but we prefer Rolaids Extra Strength Tablets for fast, dependable relief. Rolaids packs a one-two punch for neutralizing and reducing stomach acid on the spot, with each tablet containing 55 milligrams of magnesium and 270 milligrams of calcium.
Extra strength tablets are available in mint or fruit flavors, and you can take up to 10 tablets per day (two to four at a time) for two weeks or as needed. Rolaids also has an advanced formula with higher levels of magnesium and calcium, intended to relieve acid indigestion and gas and bloat.
Heartburn Relief Capsules Nexium 24HR Acid Reducer
Stomach acid rising into your esophagus, throat, and mouth causes gastroesophageal reflux disease, which can cause a painful burning sensation, belching, and difficulty swallowing.
Although there are often lifestyle changes that we can make to improve GERD symptoms, many people turn to an OTC or prescription antacid to make life a little easier. Nexium 24HR, or esomeprazole, a proton pump inhibitor that works similarly to Prilosec OTC is one of the most commonly used medications.3 Its formulation may make its effect last longer than Prilosec OTC.
Because GERD can be a debilitating condition that makes it difficult to eat, drink, exercise, sleep, or enjoy daily life, it’s critical to find lifestyle changes and effective medications that relieve your symptoms. Nexium 24HR can help GERD patients relieve and prevent symptoms regularly.
Tummy Relief for Children by Mylicon
Some babies are born with extremely sensitive stomachs, and as a parent, you need to know what treatments, remedies, and medications are safe for your child’s stomach issues.
Mylicon understands this parental quandary; they’ve been making simethicone drops for babies suffering from painful gas between feedings for years. However, they also have a children’s antacid, so there is a way to help older children.
The antacid, which contains acid-reducing calcium carbonate and gas-busting simethicone, is suitable for children with occasional indigestion (such as those who overdo it on the ice cream cake) and children with more frequent stomach aches.
Gluten, saccharin, alcohol, and artificial flavors are not present in the tablets. They are suitable for children aged two to eleven. Younger children should take one tablet three times per day, while older children should take two tablets up to six times per day.
Maty’s All Natural Indigestion & Acid Relief
If the thought of adding more medications to your daily routine to treat your heartburn and indigestion symptoms makes you nervous, a drug-free, all-natural alternative like Maty’s may be a good option for you.
With ingredients known to reduce stomach acid, relieve constipation, and reduce bloating, this supplement may help you avoid some of your most common symptoms—while reaping the benefits of a few superfoods like turmeric, ginger, and apple cider vinegar. While there isn’t much evidence to back up the benefits of these ingredients, many researchers believe they can relieve pain4, reduce inflammation5, boost your immune system6, and improve circulation7 (in addition to potentially reliving your heartburn and indigestion).
Another reason you might want to try the natural route? If you take other medications that are contraindicated for use with many common OTC antacids, or if you’ve had constipation from other treatments, a drug-free option can help you avoid interactions and side effects.
What are Dosage of Pepto Bismol?
Adults and children over 12 can take the following Pepto-Bismol forms for up to two days. The dosages listed below are for all digestive problems that Pepto-Bismol can help with.
Drink plenty of water to replace lost fluids when treating diarrhea. Even if you’re taking Pepto-Bismol, keep drinking fluids.
If your condition persists for more than two days or you experience ringing in your ears, discontinue using Pepto-Bismol and consult your doctor.
What are the Available Suspensions of Pepto Bismol?
Take 30 mL every 30 minutes, or 60 mL every hour, as needed.
Do not exceed eight doses (240 mL) in 24 hours.
Use for no more than two days. Consult your doctor if diarrhea persists.
The original Pepto-Bismol liquid is also in a cherry flavor, with the same dosage instructions.
Pepto-Bismol Ultra (maximum strength):
Take 15 mL every 30 minutes or 30 mL every hour.
Do not exceed eight doses (120 mL) in 24 hours.
Use for no more than two days. Consult your doctor if your symptoms do not improve.
Pepto-Bismol Ultra is also available in cherry flavor with the same dosage instructions.
Pepto Cherry Diarrhea is another liquid option. This product is only intended to treat diarrhea, which is not the same as cherry-flavored Pepto-Bismol Original or Ultra. It is also open to those aged 12 and up.
The following is the dosage for Pepto Cherry Diarrhea:
- Take 10 mL every 30 minutes or 20 mL every hour.
- Do not exceed eight doses (80 mL) in 24 hours.
- Use for no more than two days. Consult your doctor if diarrhea persists.
For Pepto Chews:
As needed, take two tablets every 30 minutes or four tablets every 60 minutes.
Chew the tablets or dissolve them in your mouth.
Do not exceed eight doses (16 tablets) in 24 hours.
If diarrhea does not disappear after two days, stop taking this medication and consult your doctor.
- Take two caplets (262 milligrams each) every 30 minutes or four caplets every 60 minutes.
- With water, swallow the caplets whole, which we should not chew.
- Take no more than eight caplets in 24 hours.
- Use for no more than two days.
- Consult your doctor if diarrhea does not stop.
- Take one caplet (525 mg) every 30 minutes or two caplets every 60 minutes.
- With water, swallow the caplets, and we should not chew them.
- Take no more than eight caplets in 24 hours. Use for no more than two days.
- Consult your doctor if your diarrhea lasts more than two days.
Pepto Diarrhea caplets:
Take one caplet every 30 minutes or two caplets every 60 minutes as needed
With water, swallow the caplets. We should not chew them.
Take no more than eight caplets in 24 hours.
Take for no more than two days. Consult your doctor if diarrhea persists.
Diarrhea LiquiCaps or Pepto Original LiquiCaps
Take two LiquiCaps (262 mg each) every 30 minutes, or four LiquiCaps every 60 minutes as needed.
Take no more than 16 LiquiCaps in 24 hours.
Use for no more than two days. Consult your doctor if diarrhea persists.
The products and dosages listed above are intended for people aged 12 and up. Pepto-Bismol has a different product in chewable tablets for children aged 12 and under.
This medication is intended to treat heartburn and indigestion in children. We should note that the dosages are determined by weight and age.
Pepto Chewable Tablets for Kids:
- One tablet for children weighing 24 to 47 pounds and aged 2 to 5 years. Do not take more than three tablets in 24 hours.
- Two tablets for children weighing 48 to 95 pounds and aged 6 to 11 years. Do not take more than six tablets in 24 hours.
- Unless otherwise directed by a doctor, do not use in children under two years old or weighing less than 24 pounds.
- Contact their pediatrician if your child’s symptoms do not improve within two weeks.
Are Antacids Responsible for Constipation?
You want to relieve GI issues, not cause new ones, but certain antacids can cause constipation, especially if you take them all the time or take more than the recommended amount.
Constipation can be caused by calcium carbonate-containing antacids such as TUMS, Pepto Bismol, and some proton pump inhibitors. If you believe your antacid is making it more difficult for you to have regular bowel movements, consult your doctor.
Do Antacids Relieve Gas?
Antacids can help with gas, but not all OTC antacids address this symptom. Although proton pump inhibitors do not specifically target gas and bloating, antacids containing simethicone, bismuth subsalicylate, or magnesium can alleviate gas symptoms and reflux and indigestion.
Pepto-Bismol and other antacids are a safe and simple way for many people to relieve common stomach problems. However, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about whether Pepto-Bismol or another antacid is safe for you. We hope that now know what else can you take instead of Pepto Bismol, and this article has really helped you through.