One of the most common medications use for an upset stomach, diarrhea and heartburn is Pepto Bismol. The medication in this product is Bismuth, and it’s been used for a long time to treat ailments of the digestive tract. In addition, it’s thought to help with a certain type of stomach infection. Still, you need to know a little bit about it before you decide whether you should take Pepto Bismol during pregnancy.
It helps to understand a little bit about how medications are classified in terms of pregnancy. The FDA uses a letter system to assign risk to certain drugs. A class A drug, for example, has been shown to present no danger to an expectant mother or a baby. On the other hand, a class X drug has been shown to present more danger to the mom or baby than is worth the benefit of the drug. Class B drugs are considered to be generally safe, with few exceptions. Class C drugs are generally safe to use, but should only be taken by a pregnant woman under a provider’s care.
Knowing whether you can take Pepto Bismol during pregnancy depends on this category. This medicine is a class C medication during the first two trimesters and a class D during the third trimester, which means that you need to talk to your doctor before you use it when you are pregnant.
For many women who experience diarrhea during pregnancy, there may be other, more natural ways to resolve the problem. Sticking to the BRAT diet (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast) for 24 hours can often give you some relief. In some cases, your diarrhea may be caused by a stomach bug, and if that happens it will usually go away within a day on its own. There are many herbal supplements on the market that may also help with diarrhea during pregnancy.
If you do take Pepto Bismol during pregnancy, watch out for possible side effects. If the diarrhea last for more than two days or is accompanied by a fever, talk to your doctor. The same goes if you find blood or mucus in your stool, or if you become dehydrated.