Veterinary Drug Handbook (VDH) is the reference veterinarians turn to when they want an independent source of information on the drugs that are used in veterinary medicine today.


Chemistry - The alcohol of D-pantothenic acid, dexpanthenol occurs as a slightly bitter-tasting, clear, viscous, somewhat hygroscopic liquid. It is freely soluble in water or alcohol.

Storage, Stability, Compatibility

Dexpanthenol should be protected from both freezing and excessive heat. It is incompatible with strong acids and alkalis.


A precursor to pantothenic acid, dexpanthenol acts as a precursor to coenzyyme Awhich is necessary for acetylation reactions to occur during gluconeogenesis and in the productionacetylcholine. It has been postulated that post-surgical ileus can be prevented by giving high dosesof dexpanthenol by assuring adequate levels of acetylcholine. However, one study in normal horses(Adams, Lamar, and Masty 1984) failed to demonstrate any effect of dexpanthenol on peristalsis.
Uses, Indications - Dexpanthenol has been suggested for use in intestinal atony or distension, postoperative retention of flatus and feces, prophylaxis and treatment of paralytic ileus after abdominal surgery or traumatic injuries, equine colic (not due to mechanical obstruction) and anyother condition when there is an impairment of smooth muscle function. Controlled studies arelacking with regard to proving the efficacy of the drug for any of these indications.


Dexpanthenol is rapidly converted to pantothenic acid in vivo, which is widelydistributed throughout the body, primarily as coenzyme A.
Contraindications/Precautions - Dexpanthenol is contraindicated in ileus secondary to mechanical obstruction or in cases of colic caused by the treatment of cholinergic anthelmintics. It is alsocontraindicated in humans with hemophilia as it may exacerbate bleeding.
Safety in use during pregnancy has not been established.

Adverse Effects, Warnings

Adverse reactions are reportedly rare. Hypersensitivity reactionshave been reported in humans, but may have been due to the preservative agents found in the injectable product. Potentially, GI cramping and diarrhea are possible.
Overdosage - The drug is considered non-toxic even when administered in high doses.

Drug Interactions

The manufacturer's have recommended that dexpanthenol not be administered within 12 hours of neostigmine or other parasympathomimetic agents and within 1 hour ofreceiving succinylcholine. The clinical significance of these potential interactions have not beendocumented, however.
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