Bismuth subcitrate

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Bismuth subcitrate
Clinical data
Routes of
ATC code
  • Bismuth(3+) potassium 2-olato-1,2,3-propanetricarboxylate (1:5:2)
CAS Number
PubChem CID
ECHA InfoCard100.055.320 Edit this at Wikidata
Chemical and physical data
Molar mass780.654 g·mol−1
3D model (JSmol)
  • C(C(=O)[O-])C(CC(=O)[O-])(C(=O)[O-])[O-].C(C(=O)[O-])C(CC(=O)[O-])(C(=O)[O-])[O-].[K+].[K+].[K+].[K+].[K+].[Bi+3]

Bismuth subcitrate potassium is a bismuth salt used in combination with antibiotics and a proton pump inhibitor for the treatment of Helicobacter pylori infections.[1][2]

A fixed-dose combination with the antibiotics metronidazole and tetracycline is sold under the trade name Pylera.[3]


Side effects[edit]

A known side effect of bismuth salts is harmless and reversible darkening of tongue and stool by formation of bismuth sulfite.[3] Other side effects of bismuth containing combination therapies are often difficult to assign to a specific component.[citation needed]


Bismuth absorption is increased by ranitidine and omeprazole.[3]


Mechanism of action[edit]

The mechanism of action of bismuth is not known. It has been reasoned to interfere with the function of the bacterial cell membrane, protein and cell wall synthesis, the enzyme urease, cell adhesion, ATP synthesis, and iron transport mechanisms.[3]

Chemical properties[edit]

Bismuth subcitrate potassium is a salt of bismuth (Bi3+), potassium (K+) and citrate (C6H4O74−) in a molar ratio of about 1:5:2, with 3 moles of water. It contains about 25.6% (mass percent) bismuth, which is the active moiety, and 22.9% potassium.[3][4] Other sources give somewhat different ratios of the constituents.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "P/74/2009: European Medicines Agency decision of 20 April 2009 on the granting of a product specific waiver for Bismuth subcitrate potassium / Metronidazole / Tetracycline hydrochloride (EMEA-000382-PIP01-08) in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1901/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council as amended" (PDF). European Medicines Agency. 2009-06-10.
  2. ^ Urgesi R, Cianci R, Riccioni ME (2012). "Update on triple therapy for eradication of Helicobacter pylori: current status of the art". Clinical and Experimental Gastroenterology. 5: 151–7. doi:10.2147/CEG.S25416. PMC 3449761. PMID 23028235.
  3. ^ a b c d e Austria-Codex (in German). Vienna: Österreichischer Apothekerverlag. 2017. Pylera 140 mg/125 mg/125 mg-Hartkapseln.
  4. ^ FDA Professional Drug Information for Pylera. Accessed 2017-10-27.