PARA-AMINOBENZOIC ACID (PABA)
4-Aminobenzoic Acid, ABA, Acide 4-aminobenzoïque, Acide Aminobenzoïque, Acide p-aminobenzoïque, Acide Para-Amino-Benzoïque, Acide Paraaminobenzoïque, Acide Para-Aminobenzoïque, Acido Para Aminobenzoico, Aminobenzoic Acid, Aminobenzoate Potassium, Bacterial Vitamin H1, Ethyl Dihydroxypropyl Aminobenzoate, Glyceryl Paraaminobenzoate, Octyl Diemthyl PABA, P-Aminobenzoic Acid, Padamate O, Para-Aminobenzoate, Vitamin B10, Vitamin Bx, Vitamin H1, Vitamine B10, Vitamine Bactérienne H1, Vitamine Bx.<br/><br/>
Overview InformationPara-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) is a chemical found in the folic acid vitamin and also in several foods including grains, eggs, milk, and meat.
PABA is taken by mouth for skin conditions including vitiligo, pemphigus, dermatomyositis, morphea, lymphoblastoma cutis, Peyronie's disease, and scleroderma. PABA is also used to treat infertility in women, arthritis, "tired blood" (anemia), rheumatic fever, constipation, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and headaches. It is also used to darken gray hair, prevent hair loss, make skin look younger, and prevent sunburn.
PABA is best known as a sunscreen that is applied to the skin (used topically).
PABA doesn't seem to be taken by mouth as often as it used to be, possibly because some people question its safety and effectiveness.
How does it work?PABA is used as a sunscreen because it can block ultraviolet (UV) radiation to the skin.
Uses & Effectiveness
- Sunburn. PABA is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as a sunscreen. PABA seems to be effective during sweating, but not when skin is submerged in water - during swimming, for example.
Possibly Effective for
- Peyronie's disease. PABA is FDA-approved for use in this skin condition.
Possibly Ineffective for
- Treating a condition that causes hardening or thickening of the skin (scleroderma). Although PABA is FDA-approved for scleroderma, there is only limited evidence that it is effective. Some research studies suggest it might help for some symptoms of scleroderma, but the most convincing evidence shows that it does not help.
Insufficient Evidence for
- Skin condition called dermatomyositis. PABA is FDA approved for this skin condition. However, there is only limited evidence that it is effective.
- Eye infection caused by herpes virus (herpes keratitis). Early research suggests that using a specific PABA eye solution (Actipol) as eye drops can be effective for treating herpes keratitis.
- Patchy hardened skin (Morphea). PABA is FDA approved for use in people with this skin condition. However, there is limited evidence that it is effective.
- Skin condition called pemphigus. PABA is FDA approved for use in people with this skin condition. However, there is limited evidence that it is effective.
- Skin condition called vitiligo. PABA is FDA approved for use in people with this skin condition. However, there is limited evidence that it is effective.
- "Tired blood" (anemia).
- Preventing hair loss.
- Darkening gray hair.
- Other conditions.
Side Effects & SafetyPABA is LIKELY SAFE for most people when applied directly to the skin. There have not been any reports of significant harm, although there have been reports that PABA increases the likelihood of sunburn in some people, even though it usually works as a sun block.
PABA is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth appropriately and when applied to the eyes as a solution. PABA can cause skin irritation and might also stain clothing with a yellow color. Nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea, and loss of appetite might sometimes occur.
PABA is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in high doses. Taking more than 12 grams per day can cause serious side effects such as liver, kidney, and blood problems.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Children: When applied directly to the skin, PABA is LIKELY SAFE for children. PABA is POSSIBLY SAFE for children to take by mouth appropriately. Dose is important, as serious side effects can occur. PABA is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in high doses. Some children who took doses of PABA greater than 220 mg/kg/day died.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: PABA is LIKELY SAFE when applied to the skin during pregnancy or breast-feeding. However, there is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking PABA by mouth if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Kidney disease: PABA might build up in the kidneys making kidney disease worse. Do not use it if you have kidney problems.
Do not take this combination
Antibiotics (Sulfonamide antibiotics) interacts with PARA-AMINOBENZOIC ACID (PABA)
Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) can decrease the effectiveness of certain antibiotics called sulfonamides.<br/><br/> Some of these antibiotics include sulfamethoxazole (Gantanol), sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), sulfisoxazole (Gantrisin), and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra).
Dapsone (Avlosulfon) interacts with PARA-AMINOBENZOIC ACID (PABA)
Dapsone (Avlosulfon) is used as an antibiotic. Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) might decrease the effectiveness of dapsone (Avlosulfon) for treating infections.
Be cautious with this combination
Cortisone (Cortisone Acetate) interacts with PARA-AMINOBENZOIC ACID (PABA)
The body breaks down cortisone to get rid of it. Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) might decrease how quickly the body breaks down cortisone. Taking PABA by mouth and getting a cortisone shot might increase the effects and side effects of cortisone.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For Peyronie's disease: A specific PABA product (POTABA, Glenwood LLC.) 12 grams daily in four divided doses with meals for 8-24 months has been used.
- For sunburn: Sunscreens with 1% to 15% PABA have been used.
APPLIED TO THE SKIN:
- For sunburn: Sunscreens with 1% to 15% PABA have been used.
- Abarca, J., Odilla, Arrollo C., Blanch, S., and Arellano, G. [Melasma in pregnancy: reduction of its appearance with the use of a broad-spectrum photoprotective agent]. Med Cutan.Ibero.Lat.Am 1987;15(3):199-203. View abstract.
- Akberova, S. I. [Actipol in treating stromal herpetic keratitis]. Vestn.Oftalmol. 2002;118(2):17-19. View abstract.
- Akberova, S. I. [Para-aminobenzoic acid and prospects of its use in ophthalmology]. Vestn.Oftalmol. 2002;118(3):53-56. View abstract.
- Akberova, S. I. and Musaev Galbinur, P. I. [The new interferon inducer Aktipol in the treatment of herpetic keratitis]. Vestn.Oftalmol. 2000;116(2):16-18. View abstract.
- Akberova, S. I., Musaev Galbinur, P. I., Stroeva, O. G., Magomedov, N. M., Babaev, N. F., and Galbinur, A. P. [Comparative evaluation of the antioxidant activity of para-aminobenzoic acid and emoxipin in the cornea and crystalline lens (an experimental study)]. Vestn.Oftalmol. 2001;117(4):25-29. View abstract.
- Akberova, S. I., Tazulakhova, E. B., Musaev Galbinur, P. I., Leont'eva, N. A., and Stroeva, O. G. [Study of interferon-inducing activity of para-aminobenzoic acid injected subconjunctivally in rabbits]. Vestn.Oftalmol. 1999;115(1):24-26. View abstract.
- Alenda, O., Beley, S., Ferhi, K., Cour, F., Chartier-Kastler, E., Haertig, A., Richard, F., and Roupret, M. [Pathophysiology and management of Peyronie's disease in adult patients: an update]. Prog Urol. 2010;20(2):91-100. View abstract.
- Antoniou, C., Kosmadaki, M. G., Stratigos, A. J., and Katsambas, A. D. Sunscreens--what's important to know. J Eur Acad.Dermatol Venereol. 2008;22(9):1110-1118. View abstract.
- Beekwilder, J. P., O'Leary, M. E., van den Broek, L. P., van Kempen, G. T., Ypey, D. L., and van den Berg, R. J. Kv1.1 channels of dorsal root ganglion neurons are inhibited by n-butyl-p-aminobenzoate, a promising anesthetic for the treatment of chronic pain. J.Pharmacol.Exp.Ther. 2003;304(2):531-538. View abstract.
- Davies, D. M. and Cavanagh, J. Jaundice from potassium p-aminobenzoate. Lancet 4-22-1967;1(7495):896. View abstract.
- Dobrev, H., Popova, L., and Vlashev, D. Proteinase inhibitors and pemphigus vulgaris. An in vitro and in vivo study. Arch Dermatol Res 1996;288(11):648-655. View abstract.
- Drozd, N. N., Makarov, V. A., Miftakhova, N. T., Kalugin, S. A., Stroeva, O. G., and Akberova, S. I. [Antithrombotic activity of para-aminobenzoic acid]. Eksp.Klin.Farmakol. 2000;63(3):40-44. View abstract.
- Duffy, L. F., Kerzner, B., Seeff, L., Barr, S. B., and Soldin, S. J. Preliminary assessment of glycine conjugation of para-aminobenzoic acid as a quantitative test of liver function. Clin.Biochem. 1995;28(5):527-530. View abstract.
- Ehlert, C., Strunz, H., Visser, K., Wiese, M., and Seydel, J. K. Inhibition of the conjugation of PABA with glycine in vitro by sulfamoyl benzoic acids, sulfonamides, and penicillins and its relation to tubular secretion. J Pharm.Sci 1998;87(6):785. View abstract.
- Fisher, D. E., Lofton, S. P., Hale, T., Durant, N., and Grant, L. F. Peyronie's disease: a case study with clinical implications. Urol.Nurs. 2008;28(2):109-112. View abstract.
- Flindt-Hansen, H. and Ebbesen, P. Ultraviolet light induction of peripheral granulocytosis with splenomegaly: protection of mice with topical p-aminobenzoic acid (PABA). Br J Dermatol 1991;125(3):222-226. View abstract.
- Flindt-Hansen, H., Thune, P., and Eeg-Larsen, T. The effect of short-term application of PABA on photocarcinogenesis. Acta Derm.Venereol. 1990;70(1):72-75. View abstract.
- Flindt-Hansen, H., Thune, P., and Larsen, T. E. The inhibiting effect of PABA on photocarcinogenesis. Arch.Dermatol Res 1990;282(1):38-41. View abstract.
- Gaby, A. R. Natural remedies for scleroderma. Altern.Med.Rev. 2006;11(3):188-195. View abstract.
- Griffiths, M. R. and Priestley, G. C. A comparison of morphoea and lichen sclerosus et atrophicus in vitro: the effects of para-aminobenzoate on skin fibroblasts. Acta Derm.Venereol. 1992;72(1):15-18. View abstract.
- Grouls, R., Korsten, E., Ackerman, E., Hellebrekers, L., van Zundert, A., and Breimer, D. Diffusion of n-butyl-p-aminobenzoate (BAB), lidocaine and bupivacaine through the human dura-arachnoid mater in vitro. Eur.J.Pharm.Sci. 2000;12(2):125-131. View abstract.
- Gur, S., Limin, M., and Hellstrom, W. J. Current status and new developments in Peyronie's disease: medical, minimally invasive and surgical treatment options. Expert.Opin.Pharmacother. 2011;12(6):931-944. View abstract.
- Hasche-Klunder, R. [Treatment of peyronie's disease with para-aminobenzoacidic potassium (POTOBA) (author's transl)]. Urologe A 1978;17(4):224-227. View abstract.
- Hellstrom, W. J. Medical management of Peyronie's disease. J Androl 2009;30(4):397-405. View abstract.
- Hoek, F. J., Sanders, G. T., and Tytgat, G. N. Influence of gastric emptying on the PABA test. Clin Chim Acta 6-15-1987;165(2-3):235-241. View abstract.
- Jarratt, M., Hill, M., and Smiles, K. Topical protection against long-wave ultraviolet A. J Am Acad.Dermatol 1983;9(3):354-360. View abstract.
- Kierkegaard, E. and Nielsen, B. [Peyronie's disease treated with K-para-aminobenzoate and vitamin E]. Ugeskr.Laeger 7-23-1979;141(30):2052-2053. View abstract.
- Korsten, H. H., Ackerman, E. W., Grouls, R. J., van Zundert, A. A., Boon, W. F., Bal, F., Crommelin, M. A., Ribot, J. G., Hoefsloot, F., and Slooff, J. L. Long-lasting epidural sensory blockade by n-butyl-p-aminobenzoate in the terminally ill intractable cancer pain patient. Anesthesiology 1991;75(6):950-960. View abstract.
- Larsen, S. M. and Levine, L. A. Peyronie's disease: review of nonsurgical treatment options. Urol.Clin North Am 2011;38(2):195-205. View abstract.
- Leonard, F. and Kalis, B. [Photoprotection by drugs]. Rev Prat. 6-1-1992;42(11):1375-1376. View abstract.
- Linn, E. E. Microemulsion of intradermal delivery of cetyl alcohol and octyl dimethyl PABA. Drug Development & Industrial Pharmacy 1990;16(6):899-920.
- Mackie, B. S. and Mackie, L. E. The PABA story. Australas.J Dermatol 1999;40(1):51-53. View abstract.
- Mohorn, M. and Knupfer, M. [Effectiveness of the calcium antagonist nifedipine and the protease inhibitor with plasmin inactivating effect para-aminomethylbenzoic acid on stress-induced bronchial asthma]. Z Gesamte Inn.Med 11-1-1984;39(21):527-530. View abstract.
- Pan, C. W., Shen, Z. J., and Ding, G. Q. The effect of intravesical instillation of antifibrinolytic agents on bacillus Calmette-Guerin treatment of superficial bladder cancer: a pilot study. J Urol. 2008;179(4):1307-1311. View abstract.
- Penneys, N. S. Treatment of lichen sclerosus with potassium para-aminobenzoate. J.Am.Acad.Dermatol. 1984;10(6):1039-1042. View abstract.
- Pereira de Godoy, J. M. Aminaphtone in idiopathic cyclic oedema syndrome. Phlebology. 2008;23(3):118-119. View abstract.
- Petri, H., Pierchalla, P., and Tronnier, H. [The efficacy of drug therapy in structural lesions of the hair and in diffuse effluvium--comparative double blind study]. Schweiz.Rundsch.Med Prax. 11-20-1990;79(47):1457-1462. View abstract.
- Priestley, G. C. and Brown, J. C. Effects of potassium para-aminobenzoate on growth and macromolecule synthesis in fibroblasts cultured from normal and sclerodermatous human skin, and rheumatoid synovial cells. J.Invest Dermatol. 1979;72(4):161-164. View abstract.
- Pryor, J., Akkus, E., Alter, G., Jordan, G., Lebret, T., Levine, L., Mulhall, J., Perovic, S., Ralph, D., and Stackl, W. Peyronie's disease. J Sex Med. 2004;1(1):110-115. View abstract.
- Rooney, J. F., Bryson, Y., Mannix, M. L., Dillon, M., Wohlenberg, C. R., Banks, S., Wallington, C. J., Notkins, A. L., and Straus, S. E. Prevention of ultraviolet-light-induced herpes labialis by sunscreen. Lancet 12-7-1991;338(8780):1419-1422. View abstract.
- Sagone, A. L., Jr., Husney, R. M., and Davis, W. B. Biotransformation of para-aminobenzoic acid and salicylic acid by PMN. Free Radic.Biol.Med. 1993;14(1):27-35. View abstract.
- Slapke, J., Hummel, S., Wischnewsky, G. G., and Winkler, J. Protease inhibitor prevents bronchoconstriction in man. Eur J Respir.Dis 1986;68(1):29-34. View abstract.
- Stroeva, O. G., Akberova, S. I., Drozd, N. N., Makarov, V. A., Miftakhova, N. T., and Kalugin, S. S. [The antithrombotic activity of para-aminobenzoic acid in experimental thrombosis]. Izv.Akad.Nauk Ser.Biol 1999;(3):329-336. View abstract.
- Taneva, E. [Pantogar--modern treatment of hair loss, structural hair lesions, early alopecia, and dystrophy of nails]. Akush.Ginekol.(Sofiia) 2002;41 Suppl 1:37-40. View abstract.
- Taylor, C. R., Stern, R. S., Leyden, J. J., and Gilchrest, B. A. Photoaging/photodamage and photoprotection. J Am Acad.Dermatol 1990;22(1):1-15. View abstract.
- Taylor, S. E. and Dorris, R. L. Modification of local anesthetic toxicity by vasoconstrictors. Anesth.Prog 1989;36(3):79-87. View abstract.
- Trost, L. W., Gur, S., and Hellstrom, W. J. Pharmacological Management of Peyronie's Disease. Drugs 2007;67(4):527-545. View abstract.
- van den Berg, R. J., Van Soest, P. F., Wang, Z., Grouls, R. J., and Korsten, H. H. The local anesthetic n-butyl-p-aminobenzoate selectively affects inactivation of fast sodium currents in cultured rat sensory neurons. Anesthesiology 1995;82(6):1463-1473. View abstract.
- Weidner, W., Hauck, E. W., and Schnitker, J. Potassium paraaminobenzoate (POTABA) in the treatment of Peyronie's disease: a prospective, placebo-controlled, randomized study. Eur Urol 2005;47(4):530-535. View abstract.
- Zarafonetis, C. J. and HORRAX, T. M. Treatment of Peyronie's disease with potassium para-aminobenzoate (potaba). J Urol. 1959;81(6):770-772. View abstract.
- Carson CC. Potassium para-aminobenzoate for the treatment of Peyronie's disease: is it effective? Tech Urol 1997;3:135-9. View abstract.
- Clegg DO, Reading JC, Mayes MD, et al. Comparison of aminobenzoate potassium and placebo in the treatment of scleroderma. J Rheumatol 1994;21:105-10. View abstract.
- Covington TR, et al. Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs. 11th ed. Washington, DC: American Pharmaceutical Association, 1996.
- Facts and Comparisons staff. Drug Facts and Comparisons. St Louis: Wolters Kluwer Company (updated monthly).
- Hughes CG. Oral PABA and vitiligo. J Am Acad Dermatol 1983;9:770.
- Jakobsen J, Pedersen AN, Ovesen L. Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) used as a marker for completeness of 24 hour urine: effects of age and dosage scheduling. Eur J Clin Nutr 2003;57:138-42. View abstract.
- Kantor GR, Ratz JL. Liver toxicity from potassium para-aminobenzoate. J Am Acad Dermatol 1985;13:671-2.
- Ludwig G. Evaluation of conservative therapeutic approaches to Peyronie's disease (fibrotic induration of the penis). Urol Int 1991;47:236-9. View abstract.
- Pathak MA. Sunscreens: Topical and systemic approaches for protection of human skin against harmful effects of solar radiation. J Am Acad Dermatol 1982;7:285-312. View abstract.
- Sieve BF. The clinical effects of a new B Complex Factor, para-aminobenzoic acid, on pigmentation and fertility. Southern Medicine & Surgery 1942;135-9.
- Wiesel LL, Barritt AS, Stumpe WM. The synergistic action of para-aminobenzoic acid and cortisone in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Am J Med Sci 1951;243-8.
- Worobec S, LaChine A. Dangers of orally administered para-aminobenzoic acid. JAMA 1984;251:2348.
- Zarafonetis CJ, Dabich L, DeVol EB, et al. Potassium para-aminobenzoate and liver function test findings. J Am Acad Dermatol 1986;15:144-9. View abstract.
- Zarafonetis CJ, Dabich L, Devol EB, et al. Retrospective studies in scleroderma: pulmonary findings and effect of potassium p-aminobenzoate on vital capacity. Respiration 1989;56:22-33. View abstract.
- Zarafonetis CJ, Dabich L, Negri D, et al. Retrospective studies in scleroderma: effect of potassium para-aminobenzoate on survival. J Clin Epidemiol 1988;41:193-205. View abstract.
- Zarafonetis CJ, Dabich L, Skovronski JJ, et al. Retrospective studies in scleroderma: skin response to potassium para-aminobenzoate therapy. Clin Exp Rheumatol 1988;6:261-8. View abstract.
- Zarafonetis CJ, Horrax TM. Treatment of peyronie's disease with para-aminobenzoacidic potassium (POTOBA). J Urol 1959;81:770-2.
- Zarafonetis CJ. Darkening of gray hair during para-amino-benzoic acid therapy. J Invest Dermatol 1950;399-401.