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Are medications for diarrhea and gas safe for my child?

Over-the-counter anti-diarrheal and anti-gas medications are safe for your child except in some situations. For example, because bismuth subsalicylate (the active anti-diarrhea ingredient in products such as Pepto-Bismol and Kaopectate) is related to aspirin, do not give it to your child if he or she is 12 years of age or younger. But bismuth is okay for 12- to 18-year-olds unless they have a fever.

You can treat children over age two with loperamide, the active anti-diarrhea ingredient in Imodium. For treating excess gas, simethicone (in Alka-Seltzer Anti-Gas, Gas-X, Maalox Anti-Gas Extra Strength and Mylanta Gas) may be given to children. Mylicon infant drops contain simethicone and are for infants and children under two years of age.

It is a good idea to check with your healthcare provider, and to read the medication labels, before you give any medicine to your child.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.