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Can You Take Pepto While Pregnant?

last year5 min read
Last updated: Jan 20 2023

Pregnancy comes with a list of dos and don’ts. If you’re having digestive trouble, you may be asking, can you take Pepto while pregnant? Here’s the lowdown.

Can You Take Pepto While Pregnant?

If your pregnancy has caused you to become well acquainted with the toilet bowl, you are not alone.











It’s common for your body to want to expel its food contents from both sides while you’re pregnant.

So how can you find relief?

Can you take Pepto while pregnant?

Or is this medicine on the no-go list?

Pepto may seem like a great option — after all, it not only helps with nausea and diarrhea but with heartburn and indigestion as well!

But it’s best to proceed here with caution.

We’ll take you through the details.

In this article: 📝

  • What is Pepto-Bismol?
  • Can you take Pepto-Bismol while pregnant?
  • Can you take Pepto chewables while pregnant?
  • What can you take for an upset stomach while pregnant?
  • Can you take Pepto while pregnant? The bottom line.

What is Pepto-Bismol?

Pepto-Bismol is an OTC medication that is used to treat a range of digestive issues by protecting your system from an excess of stomach acid.

It comes in a variety of forms, including tablets, capsules, liquid, and chewables.

Its main ingredient is — brace yourself for a mouthful here — bismuth subsalicylate.

Let’s break that down:

Bismuth helps your body remove water from your digestive system, meaning your poop is likely to be less watery when it arrives outside your body.

It also has antibacterial qualities, which may help kill some of the organisms causing your digestive upsets.

As for salicylic acid, it works by reducing inflammation in your bowels.

(In fact, it’s this compound that produces the anti-inflammatory effect in aspirin.)

All in all, it seems like it could be pretty helpful in the treatment of many of the common pregnancy symptoms.

So now onto the big question: with this ingredient as its base, is Pepto safe during pregnancy?

Can you take Pepto-Bismol while pregnant?

Here’s what you need to know:

Taking Pepto-Bismol during pregnancy comes with a big warning label as it could be associated with birth differences.

So it’s best to look for other options to treat your symptoms.

Sometimes drug safety in pregnancy can be confusing because it’s unethical to do studies on pregnant women that might endanger their health.

For Pepto — because there is not enough reliable, controlled data on this drug, and we just don’t know its full risks — the FDA has not assigned it a safety category.

So what’s so risky about Pepto?

As this review in the American Physician tells us, the bismuth part of the equation is likely harmless, but it’s that salicylic acid that poses a threat.

Like other anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin, Pepto may increase the risk of the early closing of a blood vessel called the ductus arteriosus that’s responsible for blood flow from your baby’s heart while they’re in the womb.

If it closes too soon, it can be very dangerous for your baby.

While this is very rare, the risk does appear to increase with the use of anti-inflammatories like bismuth salicylate.

And there are other dangers to watch out for here too.

It’s also generally recommended that you stay away from Pepto in the second and third trimesters as it could increase the risk of bleeding issues as you get closer to delivery.

Can you take Pepto chewables while pregnant?

The same advice applies when it comes to Pepto chewables, unfortunately.

Because they have the same active ingredient, it’s best to look for other antidotes to your stomach woes.

We just can’t say for sure how safe this medication is for you or your baby at this time.

What can you take for an upset stomach while pregnant?

It’s a good idea to check in with your doctor before taking any new medication when pregnant.

But luckily there are a few available options when it comes to treating diarrhea when you’re pregnant.

The first thing to do is to stay hydrated.

(The American Pregnancy Association recommends opting for extra water, juice and broth and replacing electrolytes in your system.)

And if your diarrhea doesn’t clear quickly, visit your doctor.

How diarrhea is treated will depend on the cause.

If it’s a bacterial infection, for example, you may need antibiotics.

Some common OTC medications for diarrhea, like Imodium, are considered safe to use during pregnancy — but again, it’s advisable to check in with your healthcare provider first.

We all have different risk profiles, and what may work for one person may not necessarily work for another.

As for nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy, help is on the way here too!

Take prenatal vitamin supplements that include vitamin B6.

And eating small regular meals that don’t contain any of your trigger foods can also go a long way.

And if adding Vitamin B6 to your diet doesn’t help, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend the OTC drug doxylamine as the next treatment in line.

You can also get a prescription for a doxylamine and B6 combo.

Finally, the issue of heartburn and indigestion.

Avoiding triggers is a good idea.

These include processed and spicy foods, too much caffeine, and citrus.

Adding ginger to your diet can also help.

And if none of that works, ask your doctor about medication options.

Antacids like TUMS are generally considered safe — but again, it’s best to check.

Can you take Pepto while pregnant? The bottom line.

Before taking any medication during pregnancy, check with your doctor.

Because not enough conclusive studies have been done on Pepto in pregnancy, we don’t quite know the nature of the risk.

So it’s worth looking to other solutions to find relief.

Know that you don’t have to suffer alone.

Talk to your doctor.

Check-in with your Peanut community.

And be kind to yourself.

This can be a wild ride.

And it’s better if we go on it together.

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