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Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B 5) (Systemic)

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Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B 5) (Systemic)


Vitamins (VYE-ta-mins) are compounds that you must have for growth and health. They are needed in only small amounts and are usually available in the foods that you eat. Pantothenic acid (pan-toh-THEN-ik AS-id) (vitamin B5) is needed for the breakdown of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

No problems have been found that are due to a lack of pantothenic acid alone. However, a lack of one B vitamin usually goes along with a lack of others, so pantothenic acid is often included in B complex products.

Claims that pantothenic acid is effective for treatment of nerve damage, breathing problems, itching and other skin problems, and poisoning with some other drugs; for getting rid of or preventing gray hair; for preventing arthritis, allergies, and birth defects; or for improving mental ability have not been proven.

This vitamin is available without a prescription in the following dosage forms:


    • Calcium pantothenate

      o Tablets (U.S.)

    • Pantothenic acid

      o Capsules (U.S.)

      o Oral solution (U.S.)

      o Tablets (U.S.)

      o Extended-release tablets (U.S.)

For good health, it is important that you eat a balanced and varied diet. Follow carefully any diet program your health care professional may recommend. For your specific dietary vitamin and/or mineral needs, ask your health care professional for a list of appropriate foods. If you think that you are not getting enough vitamins and/or minerals in your diet, you may choose to take a dietary supplement.

Pantothenic acid is found in various foods including peas and beans (except green beans), lean meat, poultry, fish, and whole-grain cereals. Little pantothenic acid is lost from foods with ordinary cooking.

Vitamins alone will not take the place of a good diet and will not provide energy. Your body also needs other substances found in food-protein, minerals, carbohydrates, and fat.

The daily amount of pantothenic acid needed is defined in several different ways.

    For U.S.

    • Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) are the amount of vitamins and minerals needed to provide for adequate nutrition in most healthy persons. RDAs for a given nutrient may vary depending on a person's age, sex, and physical condition (e.g., pregnancy).

    • Daily Values (DVs) for nutrients are used on food and dietary supplement labels to indicate the percent of the recommended daily amount of each nutrient that a serving provides. DVs replace the previous designation of United States Recommended Daily Allowances (USRDAs).

    For Canada

    • Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNIs) are used to determine the amounts of vitamins, minerals, and protein needed to provide adequate nutrition and lessen the risk of chronic disease.

Because lack of pantothenic acid is so rare, there is no RDA or RNI for this vitamin. The following daily intakes are thought to be plenty for most individuals:

    • Infants and children

      o Birth to 3 years of age: 2 to 3 milligrams (mg).

      o 4 to 6 years of age: 3 to 4 mg.

      o 7 to 10 years of age: 4 to 5 mg.

    • Adolescents and adults-4 to 7 mg.

Before Using This Dietary Supplement

If you are taking this dietary supplement without a prescription, carefully read and follow any precautions on the label. For pantothenic acid, the following should be considered:


Tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.


It is especially important that you are receiving enough vitamins when you become pregnant and that you continue to receive the right amount of vitamins throughout your pregnancy. The healthy growth and development of the fetus depend on a steady supply of nutrients from the mother. However, taking large amounts of a nutritional supplement during pregnancy may be harmful to the mother and/or fetus and should be avoided.


It is especially important that you receive the right amounts of vitamins so that your baby will also get the vitamins needed to grow properly. However, taking large amounts of a nutritional supplement while breast-feeding may be harmful to the mother and/or baby and should be avoided.


Problems in children have not been reported with intake of normal daily recommended amounts.

Older adults

Problems in older adults have not been reported with intake of normal daily recommended amounts.

Other medicines

Other medicines or dietary supplements

Although certain medicines or dietary supplements should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines or dietary supplements may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your health care professional may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your health care professional if you are taking any other prescription, nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine, or dietary supplements.

Proper Use of This Dietary Supplement


The amount of pantothenic acid needed to meet normal daily recommended intakes will be different for different individuals. The following information includes only the average amounts of pantothenic acid.

    • For oral dosage forms (capsules, tablets, oral solution):

      o To prevent deficiency, the amount taken by mouth is based on normal daily recommended intakes:

        Adults and teenagers-4 to 7 milligrams (mg) per day.

        Children 7 to 10 years of age-4 to 5 mg per day.

        Children 4 to 6 years of age-3 to 4 mg per day.

        Children birth to 3 years of age-2 to 3 mg per day.

      o To treat deficiency:

        Adults, teenagers, and children-Treatment dose is determined by prescriber for each individual based on severity of deficiency.

Missed dose

If you miss taking a vitamin for one or more days there is no cause for concern, since it takes some time for your body to become seriously low in vitamins. However, if your health care professional has recommended that you take this vitamin, try to remember to take it as directed every day.


To store this dietary supplement:

    • Keep out of the reach of children.

    • Store away from heat and direct light.

    • Do not store in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the dietary supplement to break down.

    • Do not keep outdated dietary supplements or those no longer needed. Be sure that any discarded dietary supplement is out of the reach of children.

Side Effects of This Dietary Supplement

Along with its needed effects, a dietary supplement may cause some unwanted effects. Although pantothenic acid does not usually cause any side effects, check with your health care professional if you notice any unusual effects while you are taking it.

July 16, 1992

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