Meds and you

27 September 2013

Bismuth subgallate

Bismuth subgallate is not available as a product on its own.


Bismuth subgallate is not available as a product on its own.

Bismuth subgallate is the active ingredient of Anugesic suppositories (Nappi code:704075-008), Anusol suppositories (Nappi code: 704148-005) & Anusol ointment (Nappi code: 826375-006).

General information
Bismuth subgallate is an astringent. Astringents contract and tighten blood vessels, thereby having a shrinking effect.

In South Africa bismuth subgallate is used for the relief of pain, itching, and discomfort of haemorrhoids and other related disorders of the anal and rectal region.

This medication does not cure the actual condition or its underlying cause, but simply keeps the symptoms under control. For it to be effective, it has to be taken regularly.

Excessive use of bismuth can cause neurotoxicity and caution is advised.

Fast facts
Drug schedule: schedule 0
What does it do? Bismuth subgallate relieves the symptoms associated with haemorrhoids, and related skin conditions in the anal and rectal region.
Overdose risk: low
Dependence risk: low
Is bismuth subgallate available on prescription only? no

User information
Stopping this medicine: treatment with this medication can be safely stopped when no longer needed.
Prolonged use: treatment should be limited to a few days only.

Special precautions
Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • you are experiencing rectal bleeding

Pregnancy: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before using this drug, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.
Breastfeeding: this medication is safe for use.
Porphyria: this medication is safe for use.
Infants and children: this medication is not intended for use in children.
The elderly: no special precautions need to be taken.

Possible side effects

Side Effect
Consult your doctor
Only if severe
In all cases
darkened tongue
darkened stools
skin rash


Drug interactions
No known interactions with rectal bismuth use.

Overdose action
A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose, seek emergency medical attention.

This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.


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