Can you give Pepto Bismol to kids? (2024)

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on May 24, 2024.

Can you give Pepto Bismol to kids? (1)

Official answer


Several formulations of Pepto-Bismol can be used in children. The original strength of Pepto-Bismol liquid (“the pink stuff” or “Pepto”) can be given to children 12 years and older. Kids from 2 to 12 years can take Pepto Kids, a chewable, bubblegum-flavored tablet that contains the antacid calcium carbonate.

Pepto Kids can help treat children under 12 years with symptoms like upset stomach, acid indigestion, sour stomach, and heartburn. Calcium carbonate is an antacid commonly used to treat these symptoms.

There is not a Pepto-Bismol type product to treat diarrhea for children under 12 years of age. Pepto Kids does not does not contain bismuth subsalicylate. Contact your doctor if your child under 12 years of age has diarrhea. Young children are at greater risk for dehydration and may need special care.

If you are treating a child, be sure to check the directions on the Pepto Kids product you select because dosage instructions vary by the child’s age and weight. If you have dosing questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Also ask a doctor or pharmacist before you use Pepto Kids in your child if they are taking a prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) drug. Antacids like calcium carbonate may interact with certain medications.

Stop treatment with Pepto Kids and contact a healthcare provider if symptoms last for longer than 2 weeks.

What is the dose for Pepto Kids?

The children’s dose of Pepto Kids depends on both their weight and age. Each chewable tablet contains 400 mg of calcium carbonate. The dosing chart on the back of the Pepto Kids product will help you determine the proper dosage for your child.

In a 24-hour period, do not give more than 3 tablets to a child aged 2 to 5 years, and do not give more than 6 tablets to a child aged 6 to 11 years. Dosing is based on weight (preferred), otherwise you can use their age if you are not sure of their weight.

Be sure to read the directions and warnings in the Drug Facts label, as dosage instructions can vary by your child’s age and weight.

Related: Pepto Kids and common side effects

Related Questions

  • Why does Pepto-Bismol turn your tongue black?
  • Does Pepto-Bismol help with diarrhea?
  • How long does it take for Pepto Bismol to work?

How do I use Pepto Bismol in older kids?

​​Pepto-Bismol original strength liquid is used to treat adults and children 12 years and older with symptoms of:

  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Gas, burping
  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Traveler’s diarrhea

There are several Pepto-Bismol products specifically for diarrhea in adults and children 12 years and older.

Learn more: Does Pepto-Bismol help with diarrhea?

Children, adolescents and teenagers who have or are recovering from chicken pox, flu-like symptoms or other viruses should not use Pepto-Bismol due to the possible risk of Reye’s syndrome. This may occur due to the subsalicylate ingredient, which is similar to aspirin.

If changes in behavior with nausea or vomiting occur while using Pepto Bismol, contact a healthcare provider because these symptoms could be an early sign of Reye's syndrome, a rare but serious illness.

Bottom Line

Pepto-Bismol is a popular over-the-counter (OTC) medication used in adults and children 12 years and older to treat stomach problems like diarrhea, upset stomach and heartburn. It contains bismuth subsalicyate and should not be used in children under 12 years of age.

For children aged 2 to 12 years of age, a product called Pepto Kids contains the antacid calcium carbonate and is used to treat symptoms like heartburn, sour stomach, acid indigestion, and upset stomach in this age group. It comes as a bubble gum-flavored chewable tablet. It is NOT used to treat diarrhea.

If your child has diarrhea, contact your healthcare provider. Young children can be at greater risk for dehydration and may need special care.

This is not all the information you need to know about Pepto-Bismol or Pepto Kids and does not take the place of your doctor’s directions. Discuss any medical questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.


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Medical Disclaimer

Can you give Pepto Bismol to kids? (2024)
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