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Many bismuth-containing preparations are available around the world. Bismuth subsalicylate ( Pepto-Bismol ) is available in the US. It contains two potentially active ingredients, bismuth and salicylate ( aspirin ). It is not clear how effective bismuth compounds are, except in traveler's diarrhea and the treatment of H. pylori infection of the stomach where they have been shown to be effective. It also is not clear how bismuth subsalicylate might work. It is thought to have some antibiotic-like properties that affect bacteria that cause diarrhea. The salicylate is anti-inflammatory and could reduce secretion of water by reducing inflammation. Bismuth also might directly reduce the secretion of water by the intestine.