D:        Oh no, Yaël! I think I"m having actually a medical emergency! Quick, speak to an ambulance!

Y:        A clinical emergency, Don? Are you sure? You look fine to me.

You are watching: Why does pepto bismol turn tongue black

D:        But I"m not. This morning, I had actually a destructive stomach ache, and now--now--look at my tongue. AAHHHH! It"s all black. Sucount I"m dying, and also you don"t also care.

Y:        Relax, Don. Of course I care, yet you really aren"t dying.

D:        But my tongue...

Y:        I can tell you precisely what the difficulty is.

D:        You can? But you"re not a physician.

Y:        But I perform read the contraindications prior to taking medication.

D:        Huh?

Y:        You shelp you had a stomach ache, right? And I"ll bet you five dollars that you took some Pepto Bismol for it?

D:        Wow! You must be psychic. How"d you know?

Y:        Well, the active ingredient in Pepto Bismol is a compound referred to as bismuth subsalicylate.

D:        Bismuth subsalicylate? So?

Y:        This compound has anti-diarrheal, anti-bacterial, and antacid impacts on the digestive tract.

D:        Which is why Pepto helps with stomach discomfort.

Y:        Right. But the point is, once the bismuth combines through the trace quantities of sulhair in your saliva and also in your gastrointestinal tract, it reacts to develop a black substance dubbed bismuth sulfide.

D:        Bismuth sulfide. Sounds dangerous.

Y:        It isn"t. But that"s wbelow the discoloration on your tongue comes from. And bismuth sulfide deserve to also temporarily darken the stool. It"s a widespread enough side-effect that it"s listed in the package indevelopment, which you really have to acquire in the halittle of reading. In a couple of days, everything will certainly be ago to normal.

D:        Phew, Yaël. You conserved my life!

Y:        Not really.

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The chemical aspect bismuth extracted from pepto-bismol. (Zaphraud, Wikimedia Commons) (Zaphraud)


Sometimes, as soon as world obtain stomach aches they are alequipped to discover that their tongue has turned babsence. Fortunately for them, it isn"t a life threatening condition. 

Pepto Bismol is a typically provided medication for stomach aches, and also its energetic ingredient is a compound dubbed bismuth subsalicylate. This compound has anti-diarrheal, anti-bacterial, and antacid effects on the digestive tract, which is why Pepto helps via stomach discomfort.

However before, once the bismuth combines through the trace amounts of sulhair in your saliva and in your gastointestinal tract, it reacts to form a babsence substance called bismuth sulfide. It isn"t dangerous, yet that"s where the discoloration on your tongue comes from. 

Bismuth sulfide have the right to also temporarily darken the stool. It"s a common enough side-effect that it"s provided in the package information. The black tongue often just takes a pair of days to go ago to normal.