Pepto-bismol (Bismuth) as a possible antibiotic for CFS/FM/IBS?

  • A reader forward me a link to Bismuth for IBD and IBS-D study from Australia (2013 Full Text) which states:
    “Bismuth has antidiarrheal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties…Bismuth is minimally absorbed and so has negligible potential for toxicity in patients with normal renal function. Any absorbed bismuth is mostly excreted in urine unless renal function is severely impaired…. Although many of these disease entities are known to have spontaneous remissions and relapses, it seems unlikely that the unremitting diarrhea in some of our study patients lasting for months to years, despite being on standard treatment, would suddenly settle in its natural course when bismuth was initiated. “
  • They used oral colloidal bismuth subcitrate (CBS) – used in De-nol and Pylera
    • Pepto-bismol is bismuth salicylate.

So what more do we know about bismuth?

Bottom Line

We see above that 2.1 g/day of Pepto-bismol (BSS) appears to be the minimal effective dosage for altering the risk of traveler’s diarrhea (and thus effective protection against some bacteria shifts).

There appears to be significant evidence that it may reduce some symptoms of CFS/FM/IBS in a subset of patients and thus should be discussed with you medical professional. The duration of many studies appear to be approximately 4 weeks.

As always, consult with your medical professional before adding or changing medications.