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Can You Take Pepto on an Empty Stomach?

Can you take Pepto-Bismol on an empty stomach?


There’s nothing worse after enjoying a large meal, than getting into bed, only to be woken up in the night with chest pains in the form of heartburn, indigestion, acid reflux, or other digestive issues.

Not only do the aforementioned ailments cause a great deal of pain and discomfort, but they can also affect your sleep and your overall quality of life in the process.

While there are all manner of drugs, supplements, and medications designed to treat digestive issues, many of them can cause unpleasant side effects.

One of the many popular treatments for indigestion, acid reflux, heartburn, and other digestive problems is Pepto Bismol, which is popular all over the globe.

Pepto is very effective, as long as you know how to use it correctly, which is what we’re looking at today.

As great as Pepto is, one of the most common questions people ask is, ‘can you take Pepto on an empty stomach?’ Well, read on to find out.

What is Pepto Bismol?

Pepto Bismol is one of the most recognizable medications used to treat a wide variety of digestive issues, including:

  • Heartburn
  • Acid reflux
  • Indigestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Trapped wind
  • Nausea
  • Other digestive issues

Pepto Bismol is unmistakable thanks to its vibrant pink color and unique aroma and taste.

Its primary ingredient is called ‘Bismuth Subsalicylate,’ which belongs to a class of drugs which are known as salicylates.

Pepto can be purchased as a liquid, in capsule form, and as a chewable tablet.

If you opt for the max strength version, it can be purchased as a liquid and as a capsule/caplet.

No matter what, Pepto is always consumed orally.

How does Pepto work?

We’ll address the issue of can you take Pepto on an empty stomach a little later on.

First, however, we need to understand exactly how this medicine works.

We’ve established that Pepto assists with digestive health issues, but what we haven’t yet established is how it works. Here’s a quick overview.

Basically, Pepto Bismol gets to work on protecting the stomach, as well as the lower section of the food pipe, from your stomach acid, which is, of course, extremely harsh.

The medication helps to inhibit the amount of fluid that the intestines can absorb, while also reducing inflammation in the intestines.

It does this by inhibiting the secretion and production of a chemical known as prostaglandin, which triggers inflammatory responses in the body.

The Pepto is also able to work on treating diarrhea by blocking toxins produced by harmful bacteria that could lead to digestive issues, as well as destroying other bacteria that can cause diarrhea.

Despite the above, Pepto is best known for its antacid properties, which help deal with nausea, indigestion, heartburn, and acid reflux.

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How long can you take Pepto Bismol?

One of the most important things to remember when it comes to Pepto Bismol is the fact that it is not a long-term medication that should be used for weeks, months, and certainly not years, at a time.

Pepto is a short-term medication used to provide instant relief from a wide range of digestive ailments.

Experts recommend that you should use Pepto Bismol for up to 2 days, and not a day longer. Any longer than 2 days of usage could increase your risk of side effects from the medication.

Health experts recommend contacting your doctor or healthcare provider if your symptoms are no better, or worse, after 2 days, with or without Pepto Bismol usage.

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Pepto Bismol dosage

While you should use Pepto Bismol for no longer than two days, it’s also very important to understand exactly how much you can, and should, use when treating various digestive problems.

Adults and children who are aged 12 and over, can use Pepto Bismol for up to 2 days, in the following dosages.

Just remember, the dosages listed below will treat virtually every ailment that the product has been designed to treat.

When using chewable tablets in regular strength, use 2 tablets every 30 minutes, taking no more than 8 tablets in 24 hours.

When using Pepto in liquid form, for regular strength, consume 30ml every 30 minutes, consuming no more than 240ml in a 24-hour period.

For the extra strength dose, take 15ml every 30 minutes, consuming no more than 120ml in a 24-hour period.

For the capsules, consume 2 original strength (262mg each) every 30 minutes, consuming no more than 8 capsules in 24 hours.

For the ‘ultra’ strength capsules, consume one capsule (525mg) every 30 minutes, consuming no more than 8 capsules in a 24-hour period.

When using Pepto for diarrhea, you must always ensure that you are well hydrated, so be sure to drink plenty of water, as well as taking the Pepto. Dehydration is very serious, and Pepto does not replace lost fluids and electrolytes.

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Can you take Pepto on an empty stomach?

Okay, so, the moment of truth.

Can you take Pepto on an empty stomach?

Well, the answer is yes.

You can use Pepto Bismol products with or without food, and this shouldn’t really affect the efficacy of the drug at all.

Just be aware, that if you do consume Pepto with a full stomach, you may find that it takes a little longer to work than it would if your stomach was empty.

Always take Pepto as instructed, and if using the liquid, be sure to give the bottle a very generous shake before you consume it, as the liquid is quite dense, and the heavier ingredients may settle, especially if the liquid has been sitting for a long time.