What Are the Side Effects of Pepto Bismol?

Common side effects of Pepto-Bismol include darkening of the stools and tongue, according to WebMD. Rarely, serious side effects occur while taking Pepto-Bismol, such as ringing in the ears, hearing loss and bleeding in the stomach or intestines. It's best to report serious side effects to a physician immediately.

Although a serious allergic reaction to Pepto-Bismol is unusual, patients are advised to seek emergency attention if they experience symptoms of allergic reaction, including rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness or problems breathing, notes WebMD. Patients taking anticoagulants, aspirin or medications for diabetes, gout or arthritis should consult their doctor before taking Pepto-Bismol, states MedlinePlus. It's also best for patients with a history of ulcers, bleeding problems, kidney disease, or black or bloody stools to ask their doctor about the safe use of Pepto-Bismol.

Pepto-Bismol treats diarrhea, upset stomach and heartburn in individuals 12 years of age or older. It is an anti-diarrheal medication that works by decreasing inflammation and reducing the flow of fluid and electrolytes in the bowel, according to MedlinePlus. The medication may also kill certain organisms that cause diarrhea. If symptoms worsen, or if diarrhea persists longer than 48 hours, it's best for patients to stop taking Pepto-Bismol and contact their doctor.

Pepto-Bismol may cause muscle spasms, which are most likely to occur in the back, neck or face. Speaking difficulty, including slurred speech, may occur in those who take Pepto-Bismol.

Pepto-Bismol may cause a severe or continuing headache. It can cause heavy or fast breathing as well as ringing in the ears. Other side effects are possible, and it is important to consult a medical professional if side effects occur.