Dexpanthenol is a synthetic derivative of pantothenic acid, a B complex vitamin that is widely distributed in plants and animals. Dexpanthenol is used parenterally as a gastrointestinal stimulant to treat and prevent ileus after GI surgery and in other conditions with impaired GI activity. Dexpanthenol was approved by the FDA in 1948.
Dexpanthenol is a precursor needed for acetylcholine synthesis, which in turn causes parasympathetic activity to maintain normal GI activity.
Some rare cases of allergic reactions have been reported when taking dexpanthenol injection in combination with drugs such as antibiotics, narcotics, and barbiturates.
Use dexpanthenol only if clearly needing during pregnancy; animal reproductive studies have not been conducted. Dexpanthenol is a FDA pregnancy risk category C drug.
It is not known whether dexpanthenol is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when dexpanthenol is administered to a woman who is breast-feeding. Consider the benefits of breast-feeding, the risk of potential infant drug exposure, and the risk of an untreated or inadequately treated condition. If a breast-feeding infant experiences an adverse effect related to a maternally ingested drug, healthcare providers are encouraged to report the adverse effect to the FDA.
Use caution in the management of adynamic ileus which may include the correction of any fluid and electrolyte imbalance (especially hypokalemia), anemia and hypoproteinemia, treatment of infection, and avoidance of drugs which are known to decrease gastrointestinal motility.
If the ileus is secondary to a mechanical GI obstruction, primary attention should be directed to treating the obstruction
Adverse Reactions/Side Effects
There was a case report of respiratory depression following dexpanthenol administration.
Two patients experienced vomiting and diarrhea in the days following surgery and dexpanthenol administration.
There are minimal case reports of allergic reactions such as pruritus, urticaria, rash (unspecified), tingling, and difficulty breathing. If this occurs, dexpanthenol should be discontinued
Store this medication at 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C) and away from heat, moisture and light. Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Throw away any unused medicine after the beyond use date. Do not flush unused medications or pour down a sink or drain.