How Does Dexpanthenol Work?
Dexpanthenol is a derivative of pantothenic acid, a B complex vitamin found in all living cells and, as a result, a wide range of foods. Bacteria living in the gut are also able to synthesize pantothenic acid, but not in large enough quantities to meet dietary needs. Dexpanthenol acts as a precursor of coenzyme A, which plays a major role in the synthesis and oxidation of fatty acids. Coenzyme A is necessary for acetylation reactions and is key to the synthesis of acetylcholine.
Acetylcholine is a neurohumoral transmitter active in the parasympathetic nervous system that maintains the normal functions of the intestine. A decrease in acetylcholine levels can lead to decreased peristalsis or even adynamic ileus in extreme cases, impairing the body’s gastrointestinal processes. When prescribed appropriately, dexpanthenol provides the body with the building blocks it needs to produce coenzyme A and adequate amounts of acetylcholine, allowing us to keep the intestines functioning normally. The exact pharmacological mode of action of the dexpanthenol is still unknown.
How Is Dexpanthenol Used?
Dexpanthenol is used either intramuscularly or intravenously as a gastrointestinal stimulant to treat paralysis of the intestines following surgery. Topically, dexpanthenol is used to treat dermatological conditions to relieve itching or promote healing.
Dexpanthenol is indicated for intramuscular or intravenous use for those following abdominal surgery, in order to minimize the possibility of paralytic ileus. It is also indicated for topical use to treat or prevent dry, rough, scaly, itchy skin, and minor skin irritations.
Even though rare, some patients may have allergic reactions to dexpanthenol. Potential signs of an allergic reaction may include:
- –Rash and/or hives
- –Itching, red, swollen, blistered or peeling skin (with or without a fever)
- –Wheezing and tightness in the chest or throat
- –Trouble breathing, swallowing and talking
- –Swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue or throat
All drugs may cause side effects. Call your doctor or pursue medical attention if any of the following side effects bother you or will not disappear:
- – Upset stomach
- – Vomiting
- – Diarrhea
- – Trouble breathing
These are not all of the possible side effects of dexpanthenol; therefore, if you have any questions, please contact your health care provider for more information. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without approval from your physician.
- – Prevention of postoperative adynamic ileus: 250 mg (1 mL) or 500 mg (2 mL) intramuscularly. Repeat in 2 hours and then every 6 hours.
- – Treatment of adynamic ileus: 500 mg (2 mL) intramuscularly. Repeat in 2 hours and then every 6 hours as needed until all danger of adynamic ileus has passed.
- – Intravenous administration: Dexpanthenol Injection 2 mL (500 mg) may be mixed with bulk I.V. solutions such as glucose or Lactated Ringer’s and slowly infused intravenously.
There are no known contraindications for dexpanthenol. Precaution should be taken by individuals who are pregnant or breastfeeding, as it is unknown whether this drug may cause fetal or infant harm. Please consult with your doctor prior to use.
There are multiple medications that can interact with dexpanthenol. Make sure to bring a list of current medications and supplements when talking to your healthcare provider so they can review and avoid any possible interactions.