How Long Is Pepto Bismol Good For After Opening?

Pepto-Bismol (Benzoic Acid and Tannic Acid) is one of the most common medicines to treat several stomach disorders. Many people have been using Pepto Bismol for many years. They trust this brand for its comparative effectiveness and pricing compared with other brands. Doctors prescribe it to treat an upset stomach, heartburn, diarrhea, indigestion, acidity, and other problems related to the digestive system.

pepto bismol

Although this medicine is very effective in treating these issues, it has also been reported by many users that they have experienced harmful side effects after taking large doses of Pepto-Bismol for an extended period. Long-term use of this medicine can cause abdominal cramps, stomach pain, bad breath, and other side effects.

Despite its widespread usage, there are several misconceptions and errors in using this medicine. This post will help everyone familiarize themselves with the basic facts about this medication to make informed health decisions on the use of Pepto Bismol for your family members and friends in need. And before you buy Pepto-Bismol, make sure you use the medicine responsibly and safely.

How Long Is Pepto Bismol Good For After Opening?

Pepto-Bismol usually lasts for 3 to 5 years after opening. Such medicine should be used within six months to retain maximum effectiveness assuming the medication is kept at a temperature of between 50 & 100 degrees F.

Pepto Bismol is known for helping people feel better when their stomachs are upset. It would be best to never use it after the expiration date printed on the packaging. Such is because the efficacy of Pepto-Bismol decreases over time. Still, it is a fact that Pepto Bismol can last for three to five years after the expiration date, but it is recommended that you use the medication within two years. People should check the expiration date on the bottle and ensure that it has not expired.

How To Store Pepto Bismol After Opening?

If a person wants to keep Pepto Bismol for longer than three years, take medicine out of the container. Then put the medication into a plastic bag before freezing at 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius).

As long as it remains frozen solid, it will stay fresh and ready to use. The active component in Pepto Bismol is Bismuth Subsalicylate. It helps relieve symptoms of diarrhea, heartburn, and upset stomach. It should be stored at room temperature in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. If you buy Pepto Bismol tablets or liquid, you can keep them for three years. If you have chewable tablets, you can store them for one year.

As long as this medicine remains frozen solid, it will stay fresh and ready to use whenever you need some relief from your diarrhea or upset stomach symptoms. If you want to use your Pepto Bismol right away but don’t want all of it right now, just put what remains after opening it back into its original container (or another airtight one). Store it in an area with normal humidity levels (such as your kitchen cabinet) until needed again later on down the road!

Is It Ok To Take Expired Pepto Bismol Pills?

First, if the Pepto Bismol pills have just passed the expiration date, the medicine might probably still be going to work. Such is better than not having medication in an emergency.

We know the stomach flu hits hard and fast, and you need to do whatever it takes to get that nasty nausea under control. But is taking expired Pepto Bismol a good idea? Well, it is not like eating expired yogurt or drinking expired milk—in other words, it is not going to make you sick in the same way. However, there are some things to consider first.

If your pills have expired for a long time (for example, three years or more), you should probably throw them out and get some new ones. Such is especially true if there’s any discoloration on the tablets or the bottle looks swollen—it could be an indication that the medication is no longer safe to take and may cause harmful side effects.

Can Expired Pepto Bismol Hurt You?

The short answer: no. While such is true, the active ingredient in Pepto Bismol- Bismuth Subsalicylate may lose effectiveness over time; such won’t cause a person harm using past expiration date.

Bismuth is used in many other medications, such as Kaopectate, as well as in cosmetics. Most of us have been there: You are stuck in the hazy fog of a stomach bug, and you have got nothing more than an expired, half-empty bottle of Pepto Bismol tablets—the one that looks like it has been around since the moon landing.

Well, here’s the good news: You can still take them. It should still be effective if it hasn’t changed color or consistency or gotten moldy or spoiled. Experts say that the issue with expired medicine isn’t the expiration date itself but rather how they hold up over time. The expiration date on medication is when a drug is 100% potent—meaning it retains all of its original strength and effectiveness.

Even though many medicines must have an expiration date stamped on their packaging, some companies voluntarily have their expiration dates printed for fear of liability if someone gets sick from taking expired medicine. Although this might sound scary, given that medications are often expensive. We do not want to waste money on something that doesn’t work; most medicines do not become dangerous when they expire; instead, they stop being practical enough to treat your symptoms.

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Can Expired Pepto Bismol Make You Sick?

Taking the recommended amount of Pepto Bismol, a person will not get sick from taking such even if the medicine is expired. However, if taken above the advised dosage or ingested over a year past the expiration date, a person may get sick enough to vomit.

The main ingredient in Pepto Bismol is bismuth Subsalicylate, which works by coating the stomach and esophagus with a protective layer that aids in digestion and reduces acidity. Bismuth Subsalicylate can also help soothe nausea and diarrhea.

What Is The Proper Pepto Bismol Dosage?

The correct dosage of Pepto-Bismol can be determined by taking into account the symptoms. Also, the age and the severity of the stomach discomfort felt.

For Tablets: The standard dosage for Pepto-Bismol is to take two tablets every four hours. However, such can vary from person to person, and it is recommended that you call a physician if you’re not sure how much to take or if you need to take the medication for an extended period. The recommended dosage of Pepto Bismol is four (4) teaspoons per 8-ounce glass of water. If the diarrhea is severe, take four (4) tablespoons instead of the recommended amount.

What Are The Side Effects Of Taking Expired Pepto Bismol?

Pepto Bismol has been reported to cause the following side effects: constipation, headaches, drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, and muscle weakness. Lack of coordination, rash or itching (especially in children), and black or dark stools.

Pepto Bismol is an antacid and anti-diarrheal medication used to treat upset stomach, heartburn, nausea, indigestion, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal symptoms. Pepto Bismol may also treat non-gastrointestinal symptoms such as fever, sore throat, and headache. It is essential to note that taking expired Pepto Bismol may lead to some side effects. For instance, Pepto Bismol has been reported to cause side effects mentioned above: constipation, headaches, drowsiness, etc.

Additionally, you should avoid taking expired Pepto Bismol if you have any of the following medical issues: kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis), heart problems or high blood pressure; liver disease; asthma or emphysema; a blood cell disorder (such as anemia); a thyroid disorder; diabetes; or glaucoma.
If you’re experiencing side effects from taking expired Pepto Bismol that are not normal for you or seem out of the ordinary, then seek help immediately.

Does Pepto Bismol Need Refrigerated After Opening?

This is a million-dollar question, and the answer is: it depends. If a person has an open bottle of Pepto Bismol unrefrigerated for less than two (2) weeks, refrigeration isn’t necessary; a person can keep using the medicine until such is gone.

However, if it has been unrefrigerated for more than two weeks, you need to keep it in the fridge. You can tell if your bottle of Pepto Bismol has spoiled by smelling and tasting it. If you detect any odors or flavors, don’t take the risk. Dump it out (or use it as a marinade) and get yourself a fresh bottle—make sure to keep that one in the fridge! Everyone has used Pepto Bismol to help cure an upset stomach or a nagging cough. It’s been around for nearly 125 years and is classified as a pink pill in the medication category.

Can Immunity/Tolerance Occur After Long Time Usage of Pepto Bismol?

There have been a lot of debates about the effects of long-term use of the medicine Pepto Bismol will do on the human body. Tolerance develops as a result of chronic, high-level exposure to a substance.

Some believe prolonged use can create an immunity that renders Pepto Bismol useless. Such is ongoing research, but medical scientists dismiss the concept as false. Some say that although the drug itself rarely causes any adverse effects, over time, your body can build a tolerance to the drug, and it may not work as well as it used to. There may be a few myths circulating about the safety of long-term use of Pepto-Bismol. Pepto-Bismol is indeed an over-the-counter antacid. It is categorized as an antacid, antiseborrheic, and antispasmodics medication.

Will Not Putting Pepto Bismol In The Fridge affect effectiveness?

A person may have heard-Pepto Bismol needs to be refrigerated after opening. While such is a common misconception, the truth is keeping Pepto Bismol at room temperature will not impact effectiveness.

The only reason to keep Pepto Bismol in the fridge after opening it is to preserve its taste and color. In manufacturing, Pepto Bismol is produced in flavorless form and then dyed pink. The pink color comes from patented dye components that can be altered by exposure to heat or light. Pepto Bismol recommends refrigerating any opened product containers to keep the dye from fading. If you are experiencing stomach upset, don’t wait for your opened bottle of Pepto Bismol to chill—take a dose of the medicine at room temperature and enjoy your relief!

Is There A Substitute For Pepto-Bismol?

A lot of anti-diarrheal medications can be used as substitutes for Pepto-Bismol. There are at-home solutions a person can try and also alternative preparation suggestions.

Pepto-Bismol is one of the most popular over-the-counter medications for people with upset stomachs. But when you have an upset stomach, do you trust Pepto to take care of everything? Not really, so it would be good to know of substitutes because there might be a time when you go to the pharmacy and are told by the pharmacist that they are out of a product, so what do you do?
Anti-diarrheal medications as substitutes for Pepto-Bismol:

  • Kaopectate
  • Imodium A-D
  • Lomotil
  • Gaviscon

Kaopectate is another medication that works by coating the stomach lining, helping to reduce your symptoms. If a person wants to attempt a home remedy for heartburn or upset stomach, you can try:

  • Ginger root
  • Aloe vera juice
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Chamomile tea (which can also help with gas symptoms)

Is There A Specific Age For Pepto Bismol Usage?

Pepto Bismol is a product designed for adults 18 and older. Such medicine should not be given to children under 12 unless recommended by a doctor.

Such is because the medication has not been tested on children. Therefore, it is not safe to use with children under 12. In children under 12 who accidentally have taken such medicine, a doctor should be consulted if any of the following indications occur: a fever above 103 degrees Fahrenheit, bloody diarrhea, symptoms lasting more than (2) two days, or dehydration (loss of fluids from the body). It is important to note that even if you are over 18, Pepto Bismol should only be used as directed on the packaging. Do not use Pepto Bismol in any other way than what it is intended for, such as oral consumption, rubbing on skin, or consuming while pregnant or breastfeeding.

How Do You Dispose Of Expired Pepto-Bismol?

Once the medicine expires, dispose of Pepto Bismol; safe and environmentally friendly. Check the bottle for recycling instructions.

If there are none, you can safely recycle the packaging. Next, pour the expired product down the sink or toilet bowl drain. Make sure to take plenty of water over it to speed up the dissolving process and prevent blockages. Then, clean out your sink with soap and hot water as you usually would. If you have a lot of expired medicine to get rid of, take it to a pharmacy that participates in treatment take-back programs. Additionally, the US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has the following guidelines for disposing of medicines you no longer need or that have expired:

Take your medicine out of its original container and put it in something you can throw away, like a household waste. Before throwing away the container, scratch out all personal information on the prescription label, including your name, address, and phone number. Don’t flush medicine down the toilet unless the product package tells you to. If you have questions about how to dispose of a specific treatment, talk to your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.

How Do You Know If Medicine Is Expired Without Expiration Date?

Drugs/Medicines without expiration dates are likely labeled with a “discard after” or “use by” date. Such a date is often stamped on by the manufacturer and indicates the last day a person can use the medicine before such is no longer considered safe.

If your medicine does not have an expiration date, it is also likely to have many. This lot number can be used to determine when the medication was manufactured, which will tell you how old it is.
Additionally, according to the FDA, medicine is dated to have an expiration date of one year after it is manufactured.

If you don’t know when your medicine was manufactured, you can estimate its expiration date by looking at the color and clarity of the liquid. If it looks darker or more cloudy than when you first got it, you should probably toss it out. Sometimes medications are sold in blister packs that help keep the medicine fresh. If the packaging on your prescription is starting to look worse for wear, it can signify that it’s time to toss out the medicine/treatment.

When Should You Not Take Pepto Bismol?

Pepto Bismol should not be taken by a person allergic to salicylates. Or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirins.

Pepto Bismol is also not advised if a person has specific conditions that may worsen with the intake of this medicine. This medication should also not be taken by anyone who has ever had an allergic reaction to the active ingredient Bismuth Subsalicylate or another bismuth salt compound. Common allergy symptoms include wheezing, hives; facial swelling; itchy skin rash; or red, blistered, swollen, or peeling skin.

You will probably experience a stomach upset or two at some point. You might be tempted to reach for Pepto-Bismol to soothe your symptoms in those moments. As with any medication, though, educating yourself about its uses and possible side effects is essential.
It is also important to know when you should not take Pepto-Bismol. If you have any of these conditions, taking Pepto-Bismol could make them worse:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Liver disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Ulcers

Is It Ok To Take Pepto Bismol While Pregnant?

The short answer is yes, Pepto-Bismol is generally considered safe to take while pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Taking Pepto Bismol to relieve nausea and vomiting is a time-honored tradition.

When we’re pregnant, our bodies can be vulnerable to ailments. Sometimes, it’s difficult to know what is and isn’t safe to take during pregnancy. There are various reasons you might consider taking Pepto Bismol during pregnancy. If you are suffering from diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, nausea, or indigestion, you might consider taking the medication to relieve your symptoms.

Pepto-Bismol’s active ingredient is Bismuth Subsalicylate. It was originally extracted from a plant called the wintergreen plant, but today it is usually synthesized in a lab. The body can convert bismuth Subsalicylate into aspirin and salicylic acid, known to cross the placenta. Some studies have shown that aspirin helps prevent pregnancy complications, including preeclampsia and preterm birth.

It’s also important to note that if you are experiencing nausea or vomiting during your pregnancy, the health of both you and your child is at risk. If the discomfort is bad enough to consider taking Pepto Bismol, you should probably see your doctor first, so they can recommend a medication that’s safe for you and your little one. And of course, if you have felt like you have a medical emergency—especially during pregnancy—always call 911 or go to the nearest hospital immediately!

What Medications Should Not Be Taken With Pepto Bismol?

There are certain medications a person should importantly know to avoid taking with Pepto Bismol. According to MedlinePlus, a site headed by the National Institutes of Health, a person should not take the medications listed below while on Pepto Bismol:

  • Salicylate (or any other salicylate-salicylic acid). These can cause Reye’s syndrome, which can be deadly for children and teens.
  • Blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin). These can cause excessive bleeding.
  • Multivitamins that contain iron; Iron can make the stool black in color.
  • Other products include Bismuth Subsalicylate.

Simultaneously taking more than one product containing this ingredient may result in side effects from too much salicylate in your system.


Medicine is a wonder of the world. In an age where cutting-edge science is developing more and more sophisticated healthcare treatments every year, people’s lives are being saved by stuff that can be created with a bit of vat. Whether to prevent infection, start the healing process, or right an imbalance in the body. Misuse of modern medicine can often have the opposite effect of what was intended.

Proper usage and storage of medicine such as Pepto Bismol are more than just following the directions on the bottle; instead, it is about using the medication to maximize its effectiveness. Simply reading the label and following its instructions will not prevent you from experiencing the side effects of Pepto Bismol. Instead, by learning more about proper usage and storage of medicine, you may be able to enhance your overall health while also preventing some acute side effects. Improper storage and usage of the Pepto Bismol medicines may lead to severe health issues. Any drugs/medications that are no longer needed should be disposed of with care to protect children, pets, and other animals from harm.

Igor Milosevic
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