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Bismuth Subsalicylate use while Breastfeeding

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 10, 2023.

Drugs containing Bismuth Subsalicylate: Pepto-Bismol, Kaopectate, Pepto-Bismol Maximum Strength, Stomach Relief, Maalox Total Relief, Helidac, Pink Bismuth, Kaopectate Anti-Diarrheal Upset Stomach Reliever, Bismatrol, Bismarex, Show all 24 »Maximum Strength Stress, Peptic Relief, Stress Maximum Strength, Kola-Pectin DS, Childrens Kaopectate, Kapectolin (New Formula), Kao-Tin Bismuth Subsalicylate Formula, K-Pek, Pepto-Bismol InstaCool, Percy Medicine, Bismatrol Maximum Strength, Pepto-Bismol Original Strength, Kaopectate Extra Strength, Soothe Caplets

Bismuth Subsalicylate Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding

Summary of Use during Lactation

Because of the possibility of absorption of salicylate from the breastmilk by the infant, alternate therapies are preferred.[1]

Drug Levels

Maternal Levels. No published information was found on the use of bismuth subsalicylate during breastfeeding. Infant salicylate intake is estimated to be less than 1% of the maternal dose when both drug and metabolite are considered.[2]

Infant Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Effects in Breastfed Infants

One case report of metabolic acidosis was caused by salicylate in a 16-day old breastfed infant whose mother was taking aspirin 650 mg every 4 hours for arthritis.[3] However, there was no measurement of salicylate in maternal serum or milk and it is unclear whether the infant had received any salicylate directly.

Effects on Lactation and Breastmilk

Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Alternate Drugs to Consider

(Diarrhea) Loperamide; (Heartburn) Antacids, Famotidine, Nizatidine, Omeprazole, Pantoprazole


Lewis JH, Weingold AB., Committee of FDA-Related Matters American College of Gastroenterology. The use of gastrointestinal drugs during pregnancy and lactation. Am J Gastroenterol. 1985;80:912–23. [PubMed: 2864852]
Levy G. Salicylate pharmacokinetics in the human neonate. In, Morselli PL, Garattini S, Sereni F, eds. Basic and therapeutic aspects of perinatal pharmacology 1975;Raven Press:New York:319-30.
Clark JH, Wilson WG. A. 16-day-old breast-fed infant with metabolic acidosis caused by salicylate. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 1981;20:53–4. [PubMed: 7449246]

Substance Identification

Substance Name

Bismuth Subsalicylate

CAS Registry Number


Drug Class

Breast Feeding


Milk, Human



Gastrointestinal Agents

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Further information

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