Heartburn and nausea are uncomfortable. Even women who never had heartburn are susceptible to heartburn during pregnancy.
Pepto Bismol is a well-known treatment for these symptoms. However, it’s not recommended to be taken during pregnancy. Many women only discover this after taking a dose. What should one do if one accidentally takes Pepto Bismol?
Pepto-Bismol, also known as bismuth subsalicylate (also called Bismuth Subsalicylate), is best avoided when pregnant even though it contains no ingredients that are known to cause immediate harm.
Pepto Bismol can increase bleeding risk, but a dose accidentally taken is unlikely to cause harm. Be sure to tell your doctor about any past habitual use.
While Pepto Bismol should not be used during pregnancy, there’s no reason to suffer from heartburn or nausea over the next 9 months. Many options for antacids are safe during pregnancy. You will learn what to do after taking bismuth subsalicylate as well as the alternative antacids that are available.
What should I do if I took Pepto Bismol during pregnancy?
Pepto Bismol, a pink-bubblegum-colored medication that soothes the stomach and relieves heartburn or stomach upsets, is a popular choice for many people.
Pepto Bismol is a natural remedy for both of these symptoms.
Pepto Bismol should not be taken during pregnancy, as many women find out. The FDA advises women to avoid bismuth subsalicylate after 20 weeks of pregnancy because it can increase bleeding risk.
As your due date nears, bleeding risks increase. Excess bleeding can cause complications during delivery. (Source: American family physician).
This advice can be alarming for some, especially if the medication was used during pregnancy. If you used Pepto Bismol before knowing you were pregnant, or if you took it more than once before realizing that it was not recommended, there is no immediate reason for concern.
You should choose alternative antacids if you are pregnant, but bismuth subsalicylate is not harmful to you or your baby.
Subsalicylate is one of these NSAIDs (non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs). As your due date approaches, NSAIDs can increase bleeding risk.
The first (and most difficult) thing to remember after taking Pepto-Bismol is to not panic. Pepto Bismol, like other substances not recommended for pregnant women, does not guarantee complications. Both you and your child are likely to remain healthy.
Talk to your doctor if you’ve taken Pepto Bismol frequently, especially if your pregnancy is nearing its end. You may be asked to undergo more thorough monitoring during your delivery or to have blood work done to see how much medication is left in your system.
Pepto Bismol can also be purchased over the counter to treat diarrhoea. It is important to contact your doctor if you have diarrhoea. Diarrhoea can be a symptom of many other problems, including foodborne illnesses. Untreated diarrhoea can cause dehydration.
Alternatives to Pepto Bismol that are Safe for Pregnant Women
Pepto Bismol should not be taken during pregnancy. However, this does not mean that you have to endure GI upsets and acid reflux throughout the nine months of your pregnancy! Other antacids are also safe to use during pregnancy. Some of the most popular (safe) options are:
- Omeprazole, also known as Prilosec
- Calcium Carbonate (commonly known by the brand name TUMS).
- Famotidine, also known as Pepcid
- Magnesium hydroxide and magnesium carbonate are available over-the-counter.
Loperamide is an alternative to Imodium if you have diarrhoea (Source: Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology).
You can reduce nausea and heartburn without taking medications.
- Small, frequent meals
- After eating, avoid laying down
- Limit spicy, greasy and fattening foods
- All three flavours are known to help fight nausea: mint, lemon and ginger.
Pepto Bismol can be taken during pregnancy, and in particular later in pregnancy. There are no serious side effects. The regular use of Pepto Bismol should be discussed by your doctor. However, other options can calm your stomach during pregnancy.