Para-Aminobenzoic Acid (Paba)

18/Description

About

Para-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 it works

PABA is used as a sunscreen because it can block ultraviolet (UV) radiation to the skin.

Effectiveness

Effective
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.

Concerns

Likely safe

PABA 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

Possibly safe

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

Possibly unsafe

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.

18/Warnings

Warnings

Children: When applied directly to the skin, PABA isLIKELY SAFEfor children. PABA isPOSSIBLY SAFEfor children to take by mouth appropriately. Dose is important, as serious side effects can occur. PABA isPOSSIBLY UNSAFEwhen taken by mouth in high doses. Some children who took doses of PABA greater than 220mg/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.

Bleeding disorders: Using PABA intravenously (by IV) might increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

Kidney disease: PABA might build up in the kidneys making kidney disease worse. Do not use it if you have kidney problems.

Surgery: Using PABA intravenously (by IV) might increase the risk of bleeding during surgery. Stop taking PABA 2 weeks before surgery.

Interactions

Always consult with your doctor.
Major
Dapsone (Avlosulfon)

Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) can decrease the effectiveness of certain antibiotics called sulfonamides.Some of these antibiotics include sulfamethoxazole (Gantanol), sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), sulfisoxazole (Gantrisin), and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra).Dapsone (Avlosulfon) is used as an antibiotic. Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) might decrease the effectiveness of dapsone (Avlosulfon) for treating infections.

Moderate
Cortisone (Cortisone Acetate)

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.

Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)

PABA might slow blood clotting when given intravenously (by IV). Using PABA along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.

The information provided on this page is for reference purposes and is not meant to be used as a medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with a medical professional.