Consumer medicine information

Bismuth Subnitrate, Iodoform and Paraffin PasteJar formula, Tube formula and Impregnated Gauze

B.I.P. Paste

Consumer Medicine Information

What is in this leaflet?

Please read this leaflet carefully before you start using any B.I.P. products

This leaflet answers some common questions about B.I.P. products. It does not contain all the available information.

It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.

All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you using a B.I.P. product against the benefits they expect it will have for you.

If you have any concerns about this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Keep this leaflet even after your procedure. You may wish to read it again later.

What are B.I.P. products used for?

B.I.P. products contain two active ingredients, bismuth subnitrate and iodoform. It comes as a paste and also impregnated into sterile gauze. It is used to pack cavities following a number of ear, nose and throat procedures where it is believed to act as an antiseptic and astringent. Antiseptic agents are used to clean wounds and help to prevent infection. Astringents cause a shrinking in body tissues and have a drying effect.

B.I.P. is available as a paste which is applied and then covered with a dressing, or as sterile gauze, which already has the paste in it, ready to be applied.

Your doctor may have prescribed a B.I.P. product for another use. Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this B.I.P. product is being used for you.

B.I.P. products are only available with a doctor’s prescription.

B.I.P. products are not recommended for children as there is not enough information on their use in that age group.

When B.I.P. products should not be used

Do not use if:

B.I.P. products should not be used in people who have an allergy to:

  • Any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet (See “Ingredients”)
  • Iodine

Tell your doctor if:

You must tell your doctor if:

  • You have had an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients listed in the section labelled “Ingredients”.
  • You are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. There are no well controlled studies of the use of B.I.P. products in pregnant women.

Your doctor will discuss with you the possible risks and benefits of using B.I.P. products during pregnancy.

  • You are breast feeding, or wish to breastfeed.

It is recommended that you do not breastfeed while using B.I.P. products. Your doctor will discuss with you the possible risks and benefits of using B.I.P. products during breastfeeding.

  • You have hyperthyroidism, a condition where the thyroid gland is overactive
  • you have moderate or severe renal impairment.

Taking other medicines:

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including medicines you buy without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.

Some medicines may affect the way other medicines work. They may also react with B.I.P. products resulting in unwanted side effects. Your doctor or pharmacist will be able to tell you which medicines are safe to take while using B.I.P. products.

Effects on laboratory tests:

B.I.P. products can cause changes to an X-ray, tell your doctor that a B.I.P. product has been used on you if you have an X-ray.

How B.I.P. products are used

B.I.P. products are only for use on the skin.

B.I.P. products will usually be applied in hospital by a doctor or nurse.

What if I swallow it?

B.I.P. products are intended for external use only.

Immediately telephone your doctor or the Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26) for advice, or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital, if you think that you or anyone else may have swallowed a B.I.P. product. Do this, even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention.

If you are not sure what to do, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Keep telephone numbers for these places handy.

While you are using B.I.P. products

Things you must do:

Tell any other doctors, dentists, and pharmacists who are treating you that a B.I.P. product has been used on you. If you are about to be started on any new medicines, remind you doctor, dentist or pharmacist that a B.I.P. product has been used on you.

Tell your doctor immediately if you become pregnant while using a B.I.P. product.

Things to be careful of:

B.I.P. products should not come into contact with eyes. Contact with the eye can cause irritation. If accidental contact occurs, remove contact lenses if worn, hold eye open, and rinse thoroughly (for about 15 minutes) with water and pat dry. Then contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

What are the side effects?

Like other medicines, B.I.P. products can sometimes cause unwanted side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects. If you get any unwanted side effects, tell your doctor or pharmacist.

Tell your doctor if you experience any of the following and they worry you:

  • Any local reaction such as redness, itching or burning, irritation and stinging, pain at the application site

Local reactions can occur with B.I.P. products. They are usually mild the risk is higher if you have used B.I.P. products before.

Tell your doctor immediately, or go to casualty at you nearest hospital if you notice any of the following:

  • Sudden signs of allergy, such as swelling or difficult breathing.
  • Confusion or memory loss
  • Uncoordinated or irregular movements of the muscles
  • Involuntary, shock-like or jerky movements

These may be serious side effects. If you have them, you may have had a serious (allergic) reaction to a B.I.P. product. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation. Serious side effects are very rare.

If a serious reaction occurs, or if a reaction persists, consult your doctor.

This is not a complete list of all possible side effects. Others may occur in some people and there may be some side effects not yet known.

Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them.

How do I store B.I.P. products?


B.I.P. products will normally be stored in a hospital. They should be stored below 25°C and should be protected from light.

Hospital staff will ensure that the paste or gauze is not used after the expiry date printed on the jar/ tube.

Product Descriptions

What it looks like:

B.I.P. Paste (Jar) A bright yellow paste. It comes in a 50 g jar and is available only by prescription.

B.I.P. Paste (Tube) A bright yellow, paste. It comes in a 50 g tube and is available only by prescription.

B.I.P.P Gauze Sterile ribbon gauze impregnated with B.I.P. paste (a bright yellow paste). It comes as a 12.5 mm or 25 mm, 1 metre length gauze and is available only by prescription.


B.I.P. Paste Jar
Active Ingredients:

  • Bismuth Subnitrate
  • Iodoform.

Inactive Ingredients:

  • Liquid Paraffin

B.I.P. Paste (Tube)
Active Ingredients:

  • Bismuth Subnitrate
  • Iodoform.

Inactive Ingredients:

  • Liquid Paraffin
  • White Soft Paraffin

B.I.P.P. Gauze

12.5mm or 25mm width of 1-metre length sterile gauze impregnated with B.I.P. Paste.

Active Ingredients:

  • Bismuth Subnitrate
  • Iodoform.

Inactive Ingredients:

  • Liquid Paraffin

Where to go for further information

Pharmaceutical companies are not in a position to give people an individual diagnosis or medical advice. Your doctor or pharmacist is the best person to give you advice on the treatment of your condition. Should you have any further questions regarding this product, please contact your doctor or pharmacist.


B.I.P. is supplied in Australia by:
ORION Laboratories Pty Ltd
85 Briggs St
Welshpool WA 6106

Australian Registration Number:
B.I.P. Paste (Jar): AUST R 21137
B.I.P. Paste (Tube): AUST R 21139
B.I.P. Paste (Gauze): AUST L 21110

This leaflet was prepared in November 2003

Published by MIMS August 2004