Is Pepto Bismol safe to take during pregnancy?
Pepto Bismol is the brand name of a medication known as Bismuth. Pepto Bismol is used primarily to help with problems of the intestinal tract and digestive system. Pepto Bismol is used for upset stomach, diahhrea, and acid reflux. In addition, Pepto Bismol is believed to have antibacterial properties, and can be helpful treating a stomach infection known as Helicobacter pylori.
In terms of pregnancy, the Food and Drug Administration labels drugs and medications with letters A,B,C,D, and X. A class “A” drug has been demonstrated in clinical studies to present no danger to either the expectant mother or her baby. A class “X” drug has been demonstrated to have greater risks to the mother or fetus that the benefit provided by the medication. Class “B” drugs are considered generally safe. Class “C” drugs are considered to be mostly safe, but should be taken under the care of a health care provider. Class “D” drugs have great risks, but may be necessary in some circumstances.
Pepto Bismol is considered a class “C” medication for the first and second trimesters and class “D” for the third trimester. You should always consult with your health care provider before taking Pepto Bismol while you are pregnant.
Imodium is a better choice for treating diarrhea during pregnancy, as it is a class “B” drug for all three trimesters. While still classified as safer, it is highly recommended that you contact your doctor before ingesting any medications while you are pregnant.
Pepto Bismol can cause darkening of the stool. This is generally a temporary occurrence. If you have severe diahhrea that lasts for more than 2 days, or diahhrea that is accompanied by a fever, you should contact your health care provider immediately. Also, if your stool contains blood or mucus, or you start to become dehydrated, you should contact your health care provider immediately.
While constipation is much more common during pregnancy, some women have experienced increased diahhrea during pregnancy. Instead of using Pepto Bismol, you might try the old “BRAT” diet (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast). Generally, if your diahhrea is caused by a mild bit of food poisoning or by a stomach virus, you should improve within twenty-four hours. In addition, there may be a variety of herbal supplements that can assist with your upset stomach. As with all herbal supplements, you should check with your health care provider as to their use during pregnancy.