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Pepto Children's Side Effects

Generic Name: calcium carbonate

Note: This page contains side effects data for the generic drug calcium carbonate. It is possible that some of the dosage forms included below may not apply to the brand name Pepto Children's.

For the Consumer

Applies to calcium carbonate: chewable tablets

Other dosage forms:

No COMMON side effects have been reported with calcium carbonate (the active ingredient contained in Pepto Children's) chewable tablets. Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur while taking calcium carbonate:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue).

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to calcium carbonate: compounding powder, oral capsule, oral gum, oral powder, oral suspension, oral tablet, oral tablet chewable


Rebound hyperacidity has been associated with calcium salt antacids. This side effect does not appear to be due to the acid buffering capacity of calcium carbonate (the active ingredient contained in Pepto Children's) but is a consequence of a specific action of calcium on the parietal cell.

Rare cases of calcium carbonate gallstones have been reported in the pediatric literature.[Ref]

Gastrointestinal side effects have included rebound hyperacidity, constipation (6% to 37%) and gallstones (rarely).[Ref]


Prolonged ingestion of large amounts of calcium carbonate (the active ingredient contained in Pepto Children's) and other sources of exogenous calcium can rarely result in the "milk alkali syndrome" and calcinosis. The milk alkali syndrome is characterized by the triad of hypercalcemia, metabolic alkalosis, and renal insufficiency.[Ref]

Metabolic side effects have rarely included hypercalcemia and hypophosphatemia. Hypercalcemia may be more likely and more severe in patients with renal dysfunction. In patients on chronic dialysis, hypercalcemia may also result from excessive calcium in the dialysate, vitamin D intoxication, or severe secondary hyperparathyroidism. Other metabolic side effects have rarely included "mild alkali syndrome", calcinosis, and irreversible renal damage.[Ref]


Renal side effects have included renal failure, formation of renal calcium and a single case report of a calcium carbonate (the active ingredient contained in Pepto Children's) and calcium phosphate-filled renal cyst.[Ref]

The renal failure that accompanies hypercalcemia and alkalosis in the milk alkali syndrome is usually transient.[Ref]


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9. Powell RW "Pure calcium carbonate gallstones in a two year old in association with prenatal calcium supplementation." J Pediatr Surg 20 (1985): 143-4

10. Malberti F, Surian M, Poggio F, Minoia C, Salvadeo A "Efficacy and safety of long-term treatment with calcium carbonate as a phosphate binder." Am J Kidney Dis 12 (1988): 487-91

11. Drinka PJ, Nolten WE "Hazards of treating osteoporosis and hypertension concurrently with calcium, vitamin D, and distal diuretics." J Am Geriatr Soc 32 (1984): 405-7

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15. Abreo K, Adlakha A, Kilpatrick S, Flanagan R, Webb R, Shakamuri S "The milk-alkali syndrome. A reversible form of acute renal failure." Arch Intern Med 153 (1993): 1005-10

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17. Campistol JM, Almirall J, Martin E, Torras A, Revert L "Calcium-carbonate-induced calciphylaxis." Nephron 51 (1989): 549-50

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19. Kapsner P, Langsdorf L, Marcus R, Kraemer FB, Hoffman AR "Milk-alkali syndrome in patients treated with calcium carbonate after cardiac transplantation." Arch Intern Med 146 (1986): 1965-8

20. Drivas G, Ward M, Kerr D "Immobilization hypercalcaemia in patients on regular haemodialysis." Br Med J 3 (1975): 468

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22. Caravaca F, Santos I, Cubero JJ, Esparrago JF, Arrobas M, Pizarro JL, Robles R, Sanchez-Casado E "Calcium acetate versus calcium carbonate as phosphate binders in hemodialysis patients." Nephron 60 (1992): 423-7

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24. Matsubara M, Unagami H, Totsune K, Sato H, Kikuta Y, Ogawa M, Saito T, Yoshinaga K "Long-term CaCO3 treatment of chronic hemodialysis patients: an attempt to prevent aluminum osteopathy." ASAIO Trans 34 (1988): 168-71

25. Anelli A, Brancaccio D, Damasso R, Padovese P, Gallieni M, Garella S "Substitution of calcium carbonate for aluminum hydroxide in patients on hemodialysis. Effects on acidosis, on parathyroid function, and on calcemia." Nephron 52 (1989): 125-32

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27. Wooldridge TD, Bower JD, Nelson NC "Rhabdomyolysis: a complication of parathyroidectomy and calcium supplementation." JAMA 239 (1978): 643

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It is possible that some side effects of Pepto Children's may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

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