Bismuth subsalicylate in the treatment of acute diarrhea in children: A clinical study

H. Soriano-Brucher, P. Avendano, M. O'Ryan, S. D. Braun, M. D. Manhart, T. K. Balm, H. A. Soriano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Bismuth subsalicylate (BSS) and placebo were evaluated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study as adjunct to rehydration therapy in 123 children, aged 4 to 28 months, hospitalized with acute diarrhea. The dosing regimen was 20 mg/kg five times daily for 5 days. Significant benefits were noted in the BSS group compared with placebo as manifested by decreases in stool frequency and stool weights and an improvement in stool consistency, significant improvement in clinical well-being, and shortening of the disease duration. Patients treated with BSS had a significant reduction in duration of hospital stay (6.9 days) compared with placebo-treated patients (8.5 days). Also, intravenous fluid requirements decreased significantly more rapidly and to a greater degree in the BSS-treated group. Bismuth subsalicylate was associated with clearance of pathogenic Escherichia coli from the stools in 100% of cases but was not different from placebo in rotavirus elimination. Bismuth subsalicylate was well tolerated with no reported adverse effects. Blood bismuth and serum salicylate levels were well below levels considered toxic. In this study, BSS provided effective adjunctive therapy for acute diarrhea, allowing children to get well sooner with less demand on the nursing and hospital staff.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-27
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991


  • antidiarrheals
  • bismuth subsalicylate
  • diarrhea
  • gastroenteritis


Dive into the research topics of 'Bismuth subsalicylate in the treatment of acute diarrhea in children: A clinical study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this