Pantothenic Acid (Oral)

Pantothenic acid is a vitamin, mostly known as vitamin B5, which is mostly sourced from plants and animals.

Overview

Pantothenic acid has numerous uses, but there is no sufficient evidence to prove some of these uses. For instance, people extract dexpanthenol from Pantothenic acid and use it on itching skin, to heal mild eczemas and on many other skin conditions such as diaper rashes, bites, insect stings poison ivy and acne among others. Additionally, patients going through skin therapy are treated using the vitamin to prevent imminent skin reactions. In addition to these uses, Pantothenic acid is associated with treating alcoholism, baldness, gray hair and problems with muscles, especially muscle problems associated with pregnancy. The vitamin is also known to reduce anxiety and physical and mental stress. People can also use it to suppress aging, reduce susceptibility to colds, minimize retarded growth, stimulate adrenal glands, reduce dizziness and to heal wounds.

Deficiency of Vitamin B5 is extremely rare. In case it occurs, it can be reversed by simple administration of pantothenic acid. The symptoms of Vitamin B5 deficiency include reduced energy production (occurs as a result of low CoA levels and consequentially leads to tiredness), irritability and apathy. The acetylcholine synthesis is also impaired, and this leads to neurological symptoms such as numbness, paresthesia and muscle cramp. One may also suffer from hypoglycemia or increased sensitivity to insulin. This is because insulin receptors are acylated with palmitic acid when they do not want to fix with insulin. As a result, more insulin will fix to receptors when acylation decreases, which results in hypoglycemia. There may also be an insufficiency of adrenaline as well as hepatic encephalopathy; both of these effects are reversible.

In non-ruminant animals, there may be disorders that relate to the gastrointestinal, immune and also the nervous system. Additionally, there might be stunted rate of growth, diminished intake of food, skin scratches, change of fur or hair coat or even changes in the rates of lipid and carbohydrate metabolism.

Conditions Treated

Type Of Medicine

Supplement/ vitamin

Side Effects

Taking extraordinarily large amounts of Pantothenic acid increases the chances of suffering various side effects. Some common side effects include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • There may be signs or allergic reactions such as rash, itching, redness, swollen or peeling skin. This may come with or without fever, wheezing, trouble during breathing, and swelling of the mouth, face, lips and nose.

Most researchers have reported that Pantothenic acid is safe when administered orally in appropriate amounts. However, we have noticed that there are some inconsistencies that occur with the use of the vitamin. One may take the vitamin hoping to cure a certain condition but this may at times not be the case. Here are a few examples:

  • Applying dexpanthenol (a chemical that is highly similar to pantothenic acid) to areas of irritated skin has been reported not to help treat the skin reaction from radiation therapy. Some theories suggested that it may be effective but it does not seem to work.
  • Some research has shown that taking pantothenic acid together with thiamine and pantethine neither helps to improve muscular strength nor endurance in well-trained athletes.
  • There has been evidence showing that taking pantothenic acid in combination with other supplements does not help in reducing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
  • Research has revealed that taking Siccaprotect (specific eye drops containing dexpanthenol) is inefficient in improving the symptoms of dry eyes.
  • There have been reports indicating that taking calcium pantothenate, which is a product of pantothenic acid, reduces symptoms of osteoarthritis. However, there has been new contradicting evidence on this.
  • Other reports indicate that taking the vitamin after surgery helps the patient to recover. While it works in treating symptoms such as a sore throat after surgery, taking pantothenic acid does not seem to improve bowel function after stomach surgery.
  • There is new evidence showing that taking calcium pantothenate does not reduce the symptoms of arthritis in people who have rheumatoid arthritis.

Dosage

The following doses have been suggested after comprehensive scientific research:

  • When being administered by mouth through dietary supplements, it is recommended that you take 5-10 mg of pantothenic acid. (Vitamin B5)
  • The daily doses for Vitamin B5 are as follows:

i. Infants between 0 to 6 months- 1.7mg

ii. Infants 7-12 months- 1.8 mg

iii. Children 1-3 years- 2 mg

iv. Children 9-13 years- 4 mg

v. Men and women 14 years and older- 5 mg

vi. Pregnant women- 6mg

vii. Breastfeeding women- 7mg

Interactions

It is the nature of any compound to react when it comes into contact with another. Similarly, pantothenic acid interacts with other matter inside and outside our bodies. For instance, if consumed together with other vitamins, Pantothenic acid may cause beneficial effects in our bodies such as increasing the health of the skin and boosting g   rowth among many others.

However, not all interactions may be positive. Exposing the medicine to heat or moisture may cause it to expire faster. This is why the medicine comes with storage requirements that should be followed.

As a result of this and many other interactions, one should inform their physician if they are using any other substance such as antidepressants, alcohol, marijuana, sleeping pills and others. Informing your doctor ensures there is no harm to the body that may arise from interaction with other medications.

However, there is no cause for alarm because there have not been any cases showing that the use of Vitamin B5 together with other medicines has negative effects on our bodies.

Warnings

  • Warning for pregnant and breastfeeding women

If taken in the right amounts of 6 mg per day for pregnant women and 7 mg for breastfeeding women, Pantothenic acid is safe. However, it is not certainly known what the effects would arise if these amounts are exceeded. Hence, one should avoid taking large amounts of pantothenic acid.

  • Warning for hemophiliacs

If you have hemophilia, you should not take dexpanthenol (a derivative of pantothenic acid) because it might extend the time it takes for you to stop bleeding.

  • Warning for patients suffering from gastrointestinal blockage

If you have a stomach blockage, you are advised against taking dexpanthenol.

  • Warning for children

If taken through the mouth in the right amounts, Vitamin B5 is possibly safe. The correct amounts should be 1.7 mg for infants between 0 to six months, 1.8 mg for infants from seven to 12 months, 2 mg for children from one to three years and 2 mg and 4mg for children between the age of nine and 13.

Storage

For optimal potency, vitamin B5 should be stored in a cool, dry place.

It should be noted that a refrigerator is certainly a cool place, but it is also full of moisture that can drastically reduce the shelf life of Vitamin B5. The medicine shelf in the bathroom should also be avoided because it exposes the vitamins to heat and moisture. You should find a safe location for the vitamin and any other medicine.

Store at room temperature

It is also important to talk to your doctor about how to dispose of unused or expired drugs.

Summary

Pantothenic acid is essential to our bodies. Without this vitamin, as earlier explained, our bodies would show undesirable symptoms. However, these symptoms can be reversed by consuming vitamin B5. The vitamin can be combined with others to form a supplement that can be used for various purposes. Some of these purposes include boosting growth and improving the nervous and digestive system, among others. The benefits of this supplement cannot be undermined because it helps to treat many diseases. Pantothenic acid restores processes such as Kreb's Cycle, which is useful in providing the body with energy. For instance, the presence of energy will alleviate some conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, low blood pressure, and heart failure.

However, it is worth noting that excessive consumption of pantothenic acid may lead to some undesirable side effects. You should inform the doctor in case you experience loose stool, vomiting or any allergic reaction. Additionally, before you start taking the medicine, you should inform the doctor. The doctor will advise accordingly, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. This would be important in ensuring that the doses taken will not affect the life of the unborn or the mother. To keep the medicine safe for consumption, always store it in a place that has low levels of heat and moisture.

Pantothenic acid is a vitamin, mostly known as vitamin B5, which is mostly sourced from plants and animals.

Resources
Last Reviewed:
March 26, 2018
Last Updated:
April 26, 2018