Kaopectate vs Pepto Bismol – Comparison of Uses & Side Effects

Kaopectate

It is the brand name of a medication called bismuth subsalicylate, that is part of a family of medications called antidiarrheals.

Uses

This over-the-counter medication is used to treat upset stomach, diarrhea, heartburn (a burning sensation in the throat and chest), indigestion, and nausea.

Mechanism of Action

It works by decreasing the flow of electrolytes and fluids into the bowel. In addition, this medication may kill the organisms that can cause diarrhea.

Bismuth subsalicylate is found in other brand names, including – Maalox Total Stomach Relief, Bismatrol, or Bismarex.

Contraindications

Before taking this antidiarrheal, tell your healthcare provider if you have:

  • stomach ulcer;
  • a recent history of stomach or intestinal bleeding;
  • an allergy to salicylates, like – Salflex, aspirin, or Doan’s Extra Strength.

Dosage

Note – do not take more than 8 doses in a 24 hour period.

The usual recommended dose is 524 mg orally every 30 to 60 minutes as required.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Bismuth subsalicylate can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing infant. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this antidiarrheal.

There are no studies regarding the safe use of this antidiarrheal by pregnant women. Ask a healthcare provider before using this medication if you are pregnant.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • constipation;
  • dark-colored stools;
  • darkened tongue.

Less common side effects may include:

  • hearing loss;
  • worsened stomach symptoms;
  • ringing in the ears;
  • diarrhea lasting longer than 2 days.

Drug Interactionsg

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • an antibiotic, like – minocycline (Dynacin, Solodyn), or tetracycline (Ala-Tet, Sumycin, Tetracap);
  • other salicylates, like – aspirin, KneeRelief, Tricosal, or Trilisate;
  • insulin or oral diabetes medications;
  • probenecid (Benemid);
  • medication used to prevent blood clots, including – tenecteplase (TNKase) pr urokinase (Abbokinase);
  • a blood thinner like warfarin (Jantoven).
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Alcoholalcohol

Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while taking this antidiarrheal since alcohol use can notably increase the risk of side effects.

Pepto Bismol

It is the brand name of a medication called bismuth subsalicylate, which is part of a family of medications known as antidiarrheal agents.

A study on American students in Mexico who were afflicted with diarrhea concluded that bismuth subsalicylate reduced the frequency of watery stools within 4 to 24 hours.

Uses

This OTC medication is used to treat diarrhea, heartburn, and upset stomach. Moreover, it is used along with antibiotics to treat ulcers believed to be caused by the bacteria H. pylori.

Mechanism of Action

It works by decreasing the amount of fluid in the intestines and killing pathogenic bacteria.

Contraindications

Before taking this medication, tell your healthcare provider if you have:

  • a stomach ulcer;
  • if you are allergic to salicylates;
  • a recent history of stomach or intestinal bleeding.

Dosage

The usual recommended dosage is 524 mg orally every 30 to 60 minutes as needed.

Note – do not take more than 8 doses in a 24 hour period.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

It is not recommended that you take this medication while breastfeeding a baby.

Doctors do not recommend pregnant women to use this medication, especially pregnant women who have passed their twentieth week of pregnancy.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • constipation;
  • dark-colored stools;
  • black or darkened tongue.

Less common side effects may include:

  • ringing in your ears;
  • diarrhea lasting longer than 2 days;
  • worsened stomach symptoms.

Drug Interactions

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • an antibiotic, like – doxycycline (Doryx) or tetracycline (Ala-Tet, Brodspec);
  • probenecid (Benemid);
  • incruse ellipta;
  • medications used to prevent blood clots, like – alteplase or urokinase (Abbokinase);
  • a blood thinner, like – warfarin (Jantoven);
  • insulin or oral diabetes medications;
  • other salicylates, like – aspirin, KneeRelief, or Trilisate.
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Alcohol

Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while taking this medication since alcohol use can notably increase the risk of side effects.

Kaopectate and Pepto Bismol & Aspirin

Do not give Pepto-Bismol and Kaopectate to teenagers or children who have a fever without first contacting your child’s healthcare provider because these medications belong to a group of drugs called salicylates.

Salicylates are chemicals which have salicylic acid as their base. Salicylic acid is used as an ingredient in synthetic salicylates and numerous other products. Aspirin, for instance, is produced by combining salicylic acid with acetic anhydride.

Salicylate Sensitivity

Salicylate sensitivity is any adverse effect which happens when a usual amount of salicylate is ingested. Symptoms and signs of a salicylate sensitivity may include:

  • migraines;
  • skin issues, like – acne, eczema, hives, and psoriasis;
  • aggressive behavior or easily angered;
  • bed-wetting or urgency having to go to the bathroom;
  • horrible cramps;
  • excessive thirst;
  • mood disorders, like – depression, autism, hyperactivity, schizophrenia and suicidal thoughts;
  • flushed cheeks and ears after eating offending foods;
  • digestive problems, like – stomach aches, IBS, bloating, constipation, diarrhea
  • bad breath;
  • difficulty sleeping or difficulty falling asleep at night;
  • sensitivity to light and noise;
  • metallic taste in the mouth.

Kaopectate vs Pepto Bismol For Upset Stomach & Diarrhea

Kaopectate (active ingredient – bismuth subsalicylate) is an antacid and anti-diarrhea medication that is used to treat heartburn, indigestion, nausea, diarrhea, and upset stomach.

Pepto Bismol (active ingredient – bismuth subsalicylate) is a medication that can help to decrease heartburn, upset stomach, and nausea.

In conclusion, both medications have the same active ingredient – bismuth subsalicylate – a medicine that is mainly used to treat diarrhea, upset stomach, and other gastrointestinal symptoms.

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Regarding their price, the average retail price for 30 tablets of Kaopectate is $7, while the average retail price for 30 tablets of Pepto Bismol is $11.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9428215
https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejm199306103282301
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/bismuth-subsalicylate

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