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Bismatrol Side Effects

Generic Name: bismuth subsalicylate

Note: This page contains information about the side effects of bismuth subsalicylate. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name Bismatrol.

Not all side effects for Bismatrol may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

For the Consumer

Applies to bismuth subsalicylate: oral suspension, oral tablet, oral tablet chewable

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by bismuth subsalicylate (the active ingredient contained in Bismatrol). In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking bismuth subsalicylate:

In some patients bismuth subsalicylate may cause dark tongue and/or grayish black stools. This is only temporary and will go away when you Stop taking bismuth subsalicylate.

  • Anxiety
  • any loss of hearing
  • confusion
  • constipation (severe)
  • diarrhea (severe or continuing)
  • difficulty in speaking or slurred speech
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • drowsiness (severe)
  • fast or deep breathing
  • headache (severe or continuing)
  • increased sweating
  • increased thirst
  • mental depression
  • muscle spasms (especially of face, neck, and back)
  • muscle weakness
  • nausea or vomiting (severe or continuing)
  • ringing or buzzing in ears (continuing)
  • stomach pain (severe or continuing)
  • trembling
  • uncontrollable flapping movements of the hands (especially in elderly patients) or other uncontrolled body movements
  • vision problems

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to bismuth subsalicylate: compounding powder, oral suspension, oral tablet, oral tablet chewable

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have included weakness, fatigue, depression, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, unsteady gait, motor incoordination, loss of memory, jerky movements, mental confusion, disorientation, difficulty in walking and speaking, tremor, myoclonic jerks, and incontinence. Myoclonic encephalopathy has occurred rarely. It should be noted that nervous system side effects have been the most common feature of bismuth toxicity.[Ref]

Nervous system toxicity is a common feature of bismuth toxicity. Bismuth toxicity is characterized by the insidious onset of weakness and fatigue, depression, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, unsteady gait, motor incoordination, loss of memory, and jerky movements. Acute toxicity may result in the development of mental confusion, disorientation, difficulty in walking and speaking, tremor, myoclonic jerks, and incontinence.

Myoclonic encephalopathy has occurred in patients who have ingested bismuth for several months to years, but the incidence is very rare. Recovery of patients from bismuth encephalopathy may take several months following discontinuation of use. Bismuth encephalopathy has generally been reported in patients ingesting salts other than subsalicylate.[Ref]

Other

Salicylism has been reported in patients who chronically ingest bismuth subsalicylate (the active ingredient contained in Bismatrol) Common complaints include vertigo, diminished hearing, lethargy, CNS dysfunction, confusion, tinnitus, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Patients may present with respiratory alkalosis and metabolic acidosis, azotemia, and hypoprothrombinemia and platelet dysfunction. The elderly may be particularly vulnerable to the development of salicylism.[Ref]

Other side effects have included salicylism.[Ref]

Gastrointestinal

Gastrointestinal side effects have included darkening of the tongue or stool. These effects have been temporary in the majority of cases.[Ref]

References

1. "Salicylate in pepto-bismol." Med Lett Drugs Ther 22 (1980): 63

2. Weller MP "Neuropsychiatric symptoms following bismuth intoxication." Postgrad Med J 64 (1988): 308-10

3. Supino-Viterbo V, Sicard C, Risvegliato M, Rancurel G, Buge A "Toxic encephalopathy due to ingestion of bismuth salts: clinical and EEG studies of 45 patients." J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 40 (1977): 748-52

4. Gorbach SL "Bismuth therapy in gastrointestinal diseases." Gastroenterology 99 (1990): 863-75

5. Gordon MF, Abrams RI, Rubin DB, Barr WB, Correa DD "Bismuth toxicity." Neurology 44 (1994): 2418

6. Molina JA, Calandre L, Bermejo F "Myoclonic encephalopathy due to bismuth salts: treatment with dimercaprol and analysis of CSF transmitters." Acta Neurol Scand 79 (1989): 200-3

7. DuPont HL "Bismuth subsalicylate in the treatment and prevention of diarrheal disease." Drug Intell Clin Pharm 21 (1987): 687-93

8. Dipalma JR "Bismuth toxicity." Am Fam Physician 38 (1988): 244-6

9. Malfertheiner P "Compliance, adverse events and antibiotic resistance in Helicobacter pylori treatment." Scand J Gastroenterol Suppl 196 (1993): 34-7

10. Jungreis AC, Schaumburg HH "Encephalopathy from abuse of bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol)." Neurology 43 (1993): 1265

11. Bradley B, Singleton M, Po AL "Bismuth toxicity--a reassessment." J Clin Pharm Ther 14 (1989): 423-41

12. Hasking GJ, Duggan JM "Encephalopathy from bismuth subsalicylate." Med J Aust 2 (1982): 167

13. Bierer DW "Bismuth subsalicylate: history, chemistry, and safety." Rev Infect Dis 12 Suppl 1 (1990): s3-8

14. Vernace MA, Bellucci AG, Wilkes BM "Chronic salicylate toxicity due to consumption of over-the-counter bismuth subsalicylate." Am J Med 97 (1994): 308-9

15. Sainsbury SJ "Fatal salicylate toxicity from bismuth subsalicylate." West J Med 155 (1991): 637-9

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. Drugs.com does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.

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