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A 28-year-old member asked:

my child has a stomach ache with his chickenpox, can i give them pepto-bismol?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
Not recommended: Pepto bismol (bismuth subsalicylate) has a component salycelate that was linled with a devistating disease called reye's syndrome in the 70's & 80's. After physicians stopped recomending salycelate products there was a rapid decline in the frequency of that problem. Discuss your concern with your physician for the best possible comfort meds.
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 50 years experience
Even the chewable calcium carbonate Kids' Pepto worries me because it's pink, & it's bismuth subsalicylate that causes that color.
Dec 19, 2012
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 50 years experience
No! Especially not : With chickenpox & the " flu, " but also never in kids < 12, & probably not in teens. Bismuth subsalicylate, like aspirin, can cause reyes syndrome. In the early 70's when we still gave children's Aspirin to children for acute minor illnesses, i saw kids get horribly sick & some die from reyes syndrome. Stick with clear liquids, appropriate tylenol (acetaminophen) doses & call your pediatrician.

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Last updated Jul 5, 2017

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