: Bismuth compounds have been used extensively as medicines and in particular for the treatment of gastrointestinal ailments. In addition to bismuth's well known gastroprotective effects and efficacy in treating H. pylori infection it also has broad anti-microbial, anti-leishmanial and anti-cancer properties. Aspects of the biological chemistry of bismuth are discussed and biomolecular targets associated with bismuth treatment are highlighted. This review strives to provide the reader with an up to date account of bismuth-based drugs currently used to treat patients and discuss potential medicinal applications of bismuth drugs with reference to recent developments in the literature. Ultimately this review aims to encourage original contributions to this exciting and important field.