Pepto-Bismol is an over-the-counter medication that treats certain gastrointestinal symptoms. In certain cases, it can help treat stomach virus symptoms such as diarrhea. However, different medications may work better in other cases.

Pepto-Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate) can relieve a range of gastrointestinal symptoms. These include heartburn, diarrhea, indigestion, acid reflux, and nausea.

This article will explore the relationship between Pepto-Bismol and stomach viruses.

Read on to learn more about whether Pepto-Bismol will prolong a stomach virus or treat it.

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Pepto-Bismol can treat certain stomach virus symptoms. For example, this medication can provide relief from diarrhea. However, Pepto-Bismol may not be the best treatment option for everyone.

Treatment with Pepto-Bismol involves taking frequent liquid doses. This can be difficult to manage for some people with stomach viruses. Pepto-Bismol can also have dangerous side effects for certain individuals.

Most people who are at least 16 years old can safely take Pepto-Bismol. However, it is not a safe option for individuals who are pregnant or breastfeeding. A person should also avoid Pepto-Bismol if they have:

  • diabetes
  • gout
  • a blood clotting disorder

Some doctors do not recommend taking over-the-counter (OTC) medications for stomach viruses. Staying hydrated may be enough to help the body fight a stomach virus on its own.

Research has also shown that diarrhea can help flush disease-causing pathogens from the body. Diarrhea may be a necessary part of getting rid of a stomach virus. Treating diarrhea with Pepto-Bismol can get in the way of this natural process.

Individuals experiencing a stomach virus should speak with a doctor for advice. Only a medical professional can determine the right treatment for each person.

Learn more about Pepto-Bismol.

In addition to Pepto-Bismol, certain medications can help treat stomach virus symptoms. Metoclopramide can help treat vomiting, and loperamide may help treat diarrhea.

Vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration. Certain medical treatments help treat or prevent this or aid in rehydration. Pharmacies offer rehydration solutions that can help.

In cases of severe hydration, intravenous (IV) fluids may be necessary. Children may be particularly susceptible to dehydration from a stomach virus.

A doctor or pharmacist will advise on suitable treatments for a stomach virus. It is important to seek medical advice if there are concerns about dehydration.

Learn more about treatments for stomach viruses.

In some cases, home remedies are enough to treat a stomach virus. Drinking plenty of fluids can speed recovery and decrease the chance of dehydration. Liquids for treating a stomach virus include:

  • water
  • fruit juice
  • broth
  • sports drinks

It is also important to get plenty of electrolytes while treating a stomach virus. Oral rehydration drinks such as Pedialyte can help boost electrolyte levels. Saltine crackers can also help replenish electrolytes and settle the stomach.

Other steps a person can take to manage a stomach virus and relieve symptoms include getting enough rest and eating foods that are gentle on the stomach.

Learn more about home remedies for the stomach flu.

Most individuals should begin to feel relief within 1 week. If symptoms do not improve with at-home care, it is best to contact a doctor for advice.

People with a stomach virus should also contact a doctor if their symptoms continue to worsen. Symptoms that require a doctor’s care include:

  • frequent vomiting
  • dehydration
  • stomach pain

It is important to contact a doctor if a pregnant person, elderly individual, or child experiences stomach virus symptoms. They may require additional care to manage their symptoms.

It is not always possible to prevent a stomach virus. However, there are certain preventive steps that can decrease the chance of this condition. These steps include:

  • washing hands regularly with soap and water
  • keeping shared surfaces clean
  • safely preparing food to avoid contamination

Individuals experiencing symptoms of stomach virus should avoid sharing food or coming into close contact with others. A person’s doctor can also provide more advice on ways to reduce the risk of a stomach virus.

Here are some frequently asked questions about Pepto-Bismol.

Can Pepto-Bismol help norovirus?

Norovirus is a type of stomach virus. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea. Pepto-Bismol may help treat diarrhea and stomach discomfort resulting from norovirus. However, it is best to contact a doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking any medication for norovirus.

Does Pepto-Bismol help with vomiting from stomach bugs?

Pepto-Bismol can help treat nausea and indigestion. This may relieve vomiting symptoms among certain individuals with a stomach bug.

Can you flush out a stomach bug?

In most cases, the body’s immune system will naturally fight off a stomach bug over time. Drinking plenty of liquids is crucial for replacing fluids lost from nausea and vomiting. However, these liquids will not directly flush a stomach bug from the body.

Pepto-Bismol is a medication that treats symptoms such as nausea, indigestion, and diarrhea. Some individuals with a stomach virus may take this medication to help treat the diarrhea and nausea that the virus causes.

However, in some cases, Pepto-Bismol may prolong a stomach virus. This is because diarrhea is the body’s way of getting rid of the virus, and treating diarrhea may slow this process down.

Most of the time, a stomach virus will resolve on its own with at-home care. Staying hydrated, getting enough rest, and replenishing electrolytes can all support recovery.

Anyone interested in taking Pepto-Bismol to manage stomach virus symptoms should first speak with a doctor. A medical professional can determine whether this medication is the right option for each individual.