Pros: Can use for combination of sickness, good for the placebo effect, not bad tasting
Cons: Made to do too much!
So you just got food poisoning from eating the day old meat at Western Sizzlin, eh? Well you probably should rush yourself to your local hospital and let your insurance work for you. But if you just have some slight stomach problems from Taco Bell's greasy tacos, then a trip to the hospital probably is not necessary.
I have had tons of stomach problems. I have had diarrhea and nausea from hangovers or a virus of some kind. When I was taking chemotherapy gas and heartburn got me good. Then there is that normal "upset stomach" feeling.
I have a big box of Pepto Chewables in my room. I use them before eating certain foods and I'll sometimes take them for various symptoms. However, if I have symptoms I would prefer to take something made strictly for that symptom instead of the pink stuff.
My father-in-law is a pharmacist and said most people who get results do so because their stomach would have felt better anyway. He said that the active ingredients in Pepto are pretty weak and it will only work on the mildest circumstances. I can see this from personal experiences, as well. So while many moms may swear on their life that Pepto Bismal is a great drug, I think that this drug is "ok" at best and there are other drugs that can treat the exact symptom instead of a bunch of symptoms.
Don't you hate it when you are about to go out on a hot date and the nerves start working up... Then you know you are about to eat tacos at Taco Bell because you cannot really afford a real date (ok, maybe that is just me). Once the "Big D" cramps hit, you might as well forget taking these tablets. Only on the most mild effects will they work.
Case in point, the other day I had a little too much caffeine the day before, and my body cannot handle it. Needless to say, I was scared to go out that night. So I took some Pepto early in the day because I did not want the opposite effect from Immodium. Well, an hour later I was still feeling like I was about to explode. So much for the pink stuff, I whipped out the Immodium AD and was fine ten minutes later. And this was not the first time I've done this, either. In an informal poll of a few friends, my mom, my wife, etc. I found that none of them ever found that Pepto worked for their "big D" either. So when you have this symptom, go for something made for the exact symptom.
And if you are puking while stuff is firing out of the other end, then you may want to check yourself into a doctor. Not even Immodium is going to fix a good case of food poisoning!
I admit, Immodium can sometimes leave you constipated the next day. Immodium also tends to lead to gas. But gas and nausea, for instance, are not usually caused by the same thing. I have never even considered Pepto Bismal for gas, and I do not see how it would work. If it is not that bad, I'll just flip a can of Coke and drink it quickly. No more gas. When I was on chemo, a Gas-X was all I needed. No nasty taste, no side-effects, and no thousand dosages. For gas, go with something to treat gas!
I think that Pepto-Bismol Chewable Tablets claim that they can be used for heartburn. Maybe I am mistaken, but I know a lot of people who use them for heart burn relief. Some people claim they work, while others end up going for the Tums a few minutes later (which to me does not work that well either). If I had heart burn I would try some Pepto. If it continued after 20 minutes I'd jump to the Zantac. If it was persistent for days, I would see a doctor (it could be acid reflux) and I'd probably be put on Prilosec which makes Pepto seem like a Flinstone's vitamin.
If I were really nauseated, I would not want to try to keep down the liquid or pill form of Pepto as both are not very appetizing. I have taken Pepto Bismol for nausea before. Sometimes it works. Other times it ends up in a pink mess in the toilet. Some cases of nausea just are not going to go away without something major, which will usually cause major drowsiness. Which is one major advantage of Pepto-Bismol Chewable Tablets. I have never noticed a visible side-effect. For mild nausea, I would definitely go with Pepto before something stronger unless I was ready to nauseatingly sleep.
This is all other stomach ailments that seem to be simply from overeating or eating something that "disagrees" with us, which is common here in the health-eating USA! I would recommend going with the Pepto-Chewables before eating instead of afterwards, but you still can see an effect afterwards on mild side-effects. This is a definite Pepto situation, as opposed to other drugs.
I have had Montazuma's (sic) Revenge on a trip to Belize. Horrid way to end a trip, especially when it hits in the ocean on a boat. I am banned for life from the country, probably. Anyway, I later read that taking a dosage of Pepto-Bismol every morning while on a trip in a foreign country can chase that evil man away. However, I have never tried this and I would think it would take more than a morning dose in certain countries. But this is another advantage of Pepto, as I do not see how that could hurt you even if it may not help you.
Can Take It Without Fear
That brings me to the next point. My father-in-law tells me that this stuff is basically so inert that it would be hard to overdose on it. Not that you could not, so I would not really go over the daily recommended dosage. But I would not worry about taking Pepto-Bismol chewables before food, after food, during food, the next morning, etc. A daily dose probably would not cause any harm, either, but I'm no doctor. Plus, why would you want to take Pepto everyday of your life anyway?
This taste like a chewable piece of minty chalk. I'd rather it than the liquid, for sure, and it really is not as bad as the Mylanta gas minty pill things. While this isn't a Flinstone vitamin, it definitely is not a disgusting medication. You can handle it unless you are a total wuss!
What is the harm, but it may not help! I would rather take something made straight for my specific symptoms instead of something that barely treats 50 things. I don't care about eliminating my nausea when I just have gas or whatever. But Pepto-Bismol does have its uses, and while I would not really recommend it, I am a casual user of the drug. Anyway, try to eat better, find stuff for your exact symptoms, and just use Pepto as a potential preventative medicine.