Q. I read a question in your column about smelly gas and I have a suggestion. Take a Pepto-Bismol tablet. It helps control that odorous gas.
Pepto-Bismol will turn your stool black, but there’s no harm in occasional use. I take the tablets with me on trips to prevent traveler’s diarrhea.
A. Pepto-Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate) has been shown to control the odor in flatus. It reduces hydrogen sulfide (the smelly stuff) from the colon quite dramatically (Gastroenterology, May, 1998).
Regular use of Pepto-Bismol could be problematic. Excessive bismuth can be toxic, leading to symptoms such as nausea, rash, diarrhea, stomach pain, mouth ulcers and kidney damage. Too much salicylate can interact with other medications such as warfarin (Coumadin).