Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......

Risk of Hypercalcemia From Prophylaxis of Traveler's Diarrhea

Robert A. Levine, MD
JAMA. 1983;249(9):1151-1152. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330330033025.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


To the Editor.—  Subsalicylate bismuth (Pepto-Bismol) has been shown to be effective for the prevention of traveler's diarrhea (emporiatic enteritis) (1980;243:237).1 Because of the large volume of medication required (60 mL four times a day), travelers may be tempted to substitute Pepto-Bismol tablets. I would like to point out a potential risk of this substitution.Pepto-Bismol tablets each contain 300 mg of subsalicylate bismuth, and, unlike the liquid, 350 mg of calcium carbonate. This fact is not mentioned on the package or in the Physicians' Desk Reference. A traveler taking the equivalent of the recommended daily dose of 240 mL (4,200 mg of subsalicylate bismuth) would ingest 14 tablets per day. This corresponds to a load of 4.9 g of calcium carbonate per day. While most normal persons are able to excrete this calcium load, some individuals will be susceptible to hypercalcemia through the milk-alkali syndrome. The amount of


Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?




Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

0 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.