Bismuth Subsalicylate

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BIZ-muth sub-sa-LIS-y-late - Pronunciation guide

Brand Names

  • Bismu-Kote Suspension
  • BismuPaste E™
  • Bismusal Suspension
  • Bismusal Suspension
  • Bismusol
  • Bismusol
  • Bismuth Oral Suspension
  • Bismuth Subsalicylate
  • Bismuth Subsalicylate Suspension
  • Corrective Suspension
  • Equi-Phar Bismukote Paste
  • GastroCote


Bismuth subsalicylate is a compound of bismuth, which is thought to have antibacterial properties, and salicylate, which has a weak anti-prostaglandin effect that may decrease inflammation and secretions in the gastrointestinal tract. Used to treat diarrhea in horses, it acts in much the same way as in humans by soothing and protecting the gastrointestinal tract.


Since diarrhea in horses can range from mild to life threatening, maintaining hydration and minimizing the absorption of bacterial endotoxins is the main goal of treating diarrhea. In all cases of diarrhea, a veterinarian should be consulted. Many horses require intravenous fluids and prompt treatment will help avoid the possibilities of dehydration, laminitis, and other serious complications.

Bismuth subsalicylate is commonly used in foals, ponies, and older horses.

Dosage and Administration

Bisthmus Subsalicylate
Method Dosage
(click row for calculator)
Concentration Period Duration
Oral Suspension1 6-10 oz 1.75% Every 1 to 3 hours NA
Oral Paste 1000 mg/100lb 200 mg/ml 3 to 4 times per day NA


  • 1Because of the amount given to adult horses, use of a nasogastric tube is often recommended.
  • Calculator is for educational purposes only. Follow your veterinarian's instructions regarding use of this, or any medication.

Bismuth subsalicylate may be given in either the suspension form or in a weight-calibrated paste syringe. Because of the amount given to adult horses, use of a nasogastric tube is often recommended.

Veterinary preparations of bismuth subsalicylate, which is not a prescription drug, are available in gallons and are frequently less expensive than the product packaged for humans.

Side Effects

Bismuth subsalicylate is considered to be very safe. The feces may darken and constipation may occur in foals. Theoretically, since the salicylate component is related to aspirin, the drug could increase clotting time, but this would be very unusual.


Since bismuth subsalicylate is related to aspirin, which is frequently a regulated drug, it is important to check with the individual regulatory agency when using this drug in competition horses.

Bizmuth subsalicylate is not a prescription drug.

Although bismuth subsalicylate is sometimes used in people for the management of ulcers, other more effective and convenient medications are available for the treatment of ulcers in horses.


Since bismuth subsalicylate is related to aspirin, care should be taken if both drugs are used concurrently. Bismuth subsalicylate can decrease the absorption of oral tetracycline antibiotics if used at the same time. For effectiveness, the dosing should be separated by at least two hours.


Overdosing with bismuth subsalicylate is very difficult to achieve, and therefore uncommon, especially with adult horses.


Bismuth  Subsalicylate Paste Bismuth Subsalicylate Paste

Bismuth  Subsalicylate SuspensionBismuth Subsalicylate Suspension



About the Author

EquiMed Staff

EquiMed staff writers team up to provide articles that require periodic updates based on evolving methods of equine healthcare. Compendia articles, core healthcare topics and more are written and updated as a group effort. Our review process includes an important veterinarian review, helping to assure the content is consistent with the latest understanding from a medical professional.