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Search Health Information    Bismuth Subsalicylate

Topic Contents

Bismuth Subsalicylate

Drug Information

Bismuth subsalicylate is a nonprescription drug used to relieve indigestion without constipation, nausea, and abdominal cramps. It is also used to control diarrhea and traveler’s diarrhea. Bismuth subsalicylate is used together with prescription antibiotics and stomach acid-blocking drugs to treat gastric and duodenal ulcers associated with Helicobacter pylori infection.

Common brand names:

Kaopectate, Maalox Total Stomach Relief, Pepto-Bismol

Summary of Interactions with Vitamins, Herbs, & Foods

Types of interactions: Beneficial Adverse Check

Replenish Depleted Nutrients

  • none

Reduce Side Effects

  • none

Support Medicine

  • none

Reduces Effectiveness

  • none

Potential Negative Interaction

  • Sarsaparilla

    Sarsaparilla may increase the absorption of digitalis and bismuth, increasing the chance of toxicity.1

  • Meadowsweet

    Bismuth subsalicylate contains salicylates. Various herbs including meadowsweet  (Filipendula ulmaria), poplar (Populus tremuloides), willow  (Salix alba), and wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) contain salicylates as well. Though similar to aspirin , plant salicylates have been shown to have different actions in test tube studies.2 Furthermore, salicylates are poorly absorbed and likely do not build up to levels sufficient to cause negative interactions that aspirin might.3 No reports have been published of negative interactions between salicylate-containing plants and aspirin or aspirin-containing drugs.4 Therefore concerns about combining salicylate-containing herbs remain theoretical, and the risk of causing problems appears to be low.

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Poplar

    Bismuth subsalicylate contains salicylates. Various herbs including meadowsweet  (Filipendula ulmaria), poplar (Populus tremuloides), willow  (Salix alba), and wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) contain salicylates as well. Though similar to aspirin , plant salicylates have been shown to have different actions in test tube studies.5 Furthermore, salicylates are poorly absorbed and likely do not build up to levels sufficient to cause negative interactions that aspirin might.6 No reports have been published of negative interactions between salicylate-containing plants and aspirin or aspirin-containing drugs.7 Therefore concerns about combining salicylate-containing herbs remain theoretical, and the risk of causing problems appears to be low.

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • White Willow

    Bismuth subsalicylate contains salicylates. Various herbs including meadowsweet  (Filipendula ulmaria), poplar (Populus tremuloides), willow  (Salix alba), and wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) contain salicylates as well. Though similar to aspirin , plant salicylates have been shown to have different actions in test tube studies.8 Furthermore, salicylates are poorly absorbed and likely do not build up to levels sufficient to cause negative interactions that aspirin might.9 No reports have been published of negative interactions between salicylate-containing plants and aspirin or aspirin-containing drugs.10 Therefore concerns about combining salicylate-containing herbs remain theoretical, and the risk of causing problems appears to be low.

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Wintergreen

    Bismuth subsalicylate contains salicylates. Various herbs including meadowsweet  (Filipendula ulmaria), poplar (Populus tremuloides), willow  (Salix alba), and wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) contain salicylates as well. Though similar to aspirin , plant salicylates have been shown to have different actions in test tube studies.11 Furthermore, salicylates are poorly absorbed and likely do not build up to levels sufficient to cause negative interactions that aspirin might.12 No reports have been published of negative interactions between salicylate-containing plants and aspirin or aspirin-containing drugs.13 Therefore concerns about combining salicylate-containing herbs remain theoretical, and the risk of causing problems appears to be low.

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.

Explanation Required 

  • none

The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers’ package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

References

1. Bradley PR (ed). British Herbal Compendium, vol 1. Bournemouth, Dorset, UK: British Herbal Medicine Association, 1992, 194-6.

2. Wichtl M, Bisset NG, eds. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals Stuttgart: Medpharm GmBH Scientific Publishers. 1994.

3. Janssen PL, Katan MB, van Staveren WA, et al. Acetylsalicylate and salicylates in foods. Cancer Lett 1997:114(1-2):163-4.

4. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, eds. American Herbal Product Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1997, 154-5.

5. Wichtl M, Bisset NG, eds. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals Stuttgart: Medpharm GmBH Scientific Publishers. 1994.

6. Janssen PL, Katan MB, van Staveren WA, et al. Acetylsalicylate and salicylates in foods. Cancer Lett 1997:114(1-2):163-4.

7. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, eds. American Herbal Product Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1997, 154-5.

8. Wichtl M, Bisset NG, eds. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals Stuttgart: Medpharm GmBH Scientific Publishers. 1994.

9. Janssen PL, Katan MB, van Staveren WA, et al. Acetylsalicylate and salicylates in foods. Cancer Lett 1997:114(1-2):163-4.

10. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, eds. American Herbal Product Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1997, 154-5.

11. Wichtl M, Bisset NG, eds. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals Stuttgart: Medpharm GmBH Scientific Publishers. 1994.

12. Janssen PL, Katan MB, van Staveren WA, et al. Acetylsalicylate and salicylates in foods. Cancer Lett 1997:114(1-2):163-4.

13. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, eds. American Herbal Product Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1997, 154-5.

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