Paid Study for Travelers to Africa and Asia: Preventing Travelers’ Diarrhea with Pepto Bismol

We are now enrolling patients traveling to Asia and Africa in a paid study where they will receive a $300 gift card! Participants will take ethier Pepto Bismol or a placebo during their trip and report on symptoms of travelers’ diarrhea through a questionnaire.

As international travel expands, travelers are increasingly visiting continents with emerging economies, such as Asia and Africa. Travelers to these destinations may come into closer contact with infectious pathogens than they would to industrialized countries. The most common travel-related illness is travelers’ diarrhea, affecting between 30 – 70% of all travelers [1]. To help develop best practices to prevent travelers’ diarrhea, our clinic has partnered with Procter & Gamble and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to lead a study to determine if the use of prophylactic bismuth subsalicylate (BSS), the active ingredient in Pepto Bismol, helps prevent travelers’ diarrhea.

A recent unpublished analysis found that persons who took BSS while traveling internationally had 3.5x greater odds of remaining free of travelers’ diarrhea [2]. We are leading this study to test these findings and potentially find a new, cost-effective method to preventing travelers’ diarrhea. Study participants will help us determine its effectiveness and potentially be among the first travelers to try an innovative approach to reducing their likelihood of developing travelers’ diarrhea. Additionally, there are minimal risks to participate in the study as Pepto Bismol has been available in the U.S. for over 100 years.

To participate in the study, travelers must be:

  • Between the ages of 18 and 70 years old
  • Refrain from taking any pre-biotics, probiotics or herbal supplements throughout the study
  • Travel to Southeast or South Central Asia, North Africa or Sub-Saharan Africa for at least 7 and no more than 21 days
  • Complete an eligibility screening, questionnaires and provide a stool sample prior to and after their travel

Reach out by email at or by phone at (212) 988 – 2800 to sign up. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.



  1. Connor B. Travelers’ diarrhea. In Yellow Book (pp. 60-64). New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2016
  2. Brum J, Gibb R, Ramsey D, Balan G, Yacyshyn B. Meta-analyses assessment of the clinical efficacy of bismuth subsalicylate for prevention and treatment of infectious diarrhea. [not yet published]
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