Mylanta vs. Pepto-Bismol

What's the Difference?

Mylanta and Pepto-Bismol are both over-the-counter medications commonly used to relieve symptoms of indigestion and upset stomach. However, they differ in their active ingredients and mechanisms of action. Mylanta contains aluminum hydroxide and magnesium hydroxide, which work by neutralizing excess stomach acid. On the other hand, Pepto-Bismol contains bismuth subsalicylate, which has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that help to soothe the stomach lining and reduce diarrhea. While both medications can provide relief from common digestive issues, individuals may prefer one over the other based on their specific symptoms and preferences.


Brand NameMylantaPepto-Bismol
Active IngredientAluminum hydroxide, Magnesium hydroxide, SimethiconeBismuth subsalicylate
IndicationsRelief of heartburn, acid indigestion, and gasRelief of heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, nausea, and diarrhea
FormLiquid, chewable tabletsLiquid, chewable tablets, caplets
FlavorsOriginal, mint, cherryOriginal, cherry, maximum strength cherry
DosageVaries based on product and ageVaries based on product and age
Side EffectsConstipation, diarrhea, stomach crampsBlack tongue, black stools, constipation
WarningsDo not take more than recommended dosageDo not use if allergic to salicylates

Further Detail


When it comes to over-the-counter antacids, two popular options that come to mind are Mylanta and Pepto-Bismol. Both of these medications are widely used to relieve symptoms of indigestion, heartburn, and upset stomach. While they may seem similar at first glance, there are several key differences between the two. In this article, we will compare the attributes of Mylanta and Pepto-Bismol to help you make an informed decision about which one may be more suitable for your needs.

Active Ingredients

Mylanta and Pepto-Bismol contain different active ingredients, which contribute to their unique mechanisms of action. Mylanta's main active ingredients are aluminum hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide, and simethicone. Aluminum hydroxide and magnesium hydroxide work together to neutralize excess stomach acid, providing relief from heartburn and indigestion. Simethicone, on the other hand, helps to reduce gas and bloating by breaking down gas bubbles in the digestive system.

Pepto-Bismol, on the other hand, contains bismuth subsalicylate as its active ingredient. Bismuth subsalicylate has both antacid and anti-inflammatory properties, making it effective in relieving heartburn, indigestion, and upset stomach. Additionally, it has a mild antibacterial effect, which can help alleviate symptoms of diarrhea caused by certain types of infections.

Formulations and Dosage

Mylanta and Pepto-Bismol are available in different formulations, allowing users to choose the one that suits their preferences and needs. Mylanta comes in both liquid and chewable tablet forms. The liquid form is convenient for those who prefer to drink their medication, while the chewable tablets offer a portable and discreet option. Pepto-Bismol, on the other hand, is commonly found in liquid suspension form, as well as chewable tablets and caplets.

When it comes to dosage, both Mylanta and Pepto-Bismol provide clear instructions on their packaging. However, it is important to note that the dosage may vary depending on the age and condition being treated. It is always recommended to read and follow the instructions provided or consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

Indications and Effectiveness

Mylanta and Pepto-Bismol are indicated for similar conditions, but their effectiveness may vary depending on the specific symptoms experienced. Mylanta is primarily used to relieve heartburn, acid indigestion, and gas. It works by neutralizing excess stomach acid and reducing gas buildup, providing quick relief for these symptoms. However, Mylanta may not be as effective in treating other digestive issues such as diarrhea.

Pepto-Bismol, on the other hand, is known for its effectiveness in treating a wider range of gastrointestinal issues. It can provide relief from heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, nausea, and diarrhea. The antibacterial properties of bismuth subsalicylate make it particularly useful in combating diarrhea caused by certain bacterial infections. However, it is important to note that Pepto-Bismol may cause temporary darkening of the tongue and stool, which is a harmless side effect but can be alarming to some users.

Side Effects and Precautions

As with any medication, both Mylanta and Pepto-Bismol carry the risk of side effects and precautions that should be considered. Mylanta, although generally well-tolerated, may cause mild side effects such as constipation or diarrhea. These side effects are usually temporary and resolve on their own. However, if they persist or worsen, it is advisable to seek medical attention.

Pepto-Bismol, on the other hand, may cause temporary and harmless discoloration of the tongue and stool, as mentioned earlier. Additionally, bismuth subsalicylate should be used with caution in individuals who are allergic to aspirin or have a history of bleeding disorders. It is also important to note that Pepto-Bismol should not be used in children or teenagers recovering from flu or chickenpox, as it may increase the risk of Reye's syndrome, a rare but serious condition.


In conclusion, both Mylanta and Pepto-Bismol are effective over-the-counter antacids that provide relief from various digestive symptoms. Mylanta's active ingredients work to neutralize excess stomach acid and reduce gas, making it suitable for heartburn and indigestion. Pepto-Bismol, on the other hand, contains bismuth subsalicylate, which has antacid, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties, making it effective for a wider range of gastrointestinal issues.

When choosing between Mylanta and Pepto-Bismol, it is important to consider your specific symptoms and needs. If you primarily experience heartburn and gas, Mylanta may be a suitable choice. However, if you have a broader range of symptoms, including diarrhea and nausea, Pepto-Bismol may be more appropriate. As always, it is recommended to read the packaging instructions, consult a healthcare professional, or seek medical advice if you have any concerns or questions about these medications.

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