St. Luke's Hospital
Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
America's 50 Best Hospitals
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Multimedia Encyclopedia

    Print-Friendly
    Bookmarks

    Para-aminobenzoic acid

    PABA; Vitamin Bx

    Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) is a naturally occurring substance that is often used in sunscreen products. PABA is sometimes called vitamin Bx, but it is not a true vitamin.

    This article discusses reactions due to PABA overdose and allergic response. PABA overdose occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this substance.

    This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or a local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

    Poisonous Ingredient

    Para-aminobenzoic acid (also known as 4-aminobenzoic acid)

    Where Found

    PABA is used in certain sunscreen and skin care products.

    It may also naturally occur in the following products:

    • Brewer's yeast
    • Liver
    • Molasses
    • Mushrooms
    • Spinach
    • Whole grains

    This list may not include all products that contain PABA.

    Symptoms

    • Coma
    • Diarrhea
    • Dizziness
    • Eye irritation if it touches the eyes
    • Fever
    • Liver failure
    • Nausea
    • Rash (allergic)
    • Shortness of breath
    • Slowed breathing
    • Stupor
    • Vomiting

    Note: Most PABA reactions are due to allergic reactions, not overdoses.

    Home Care

    Seek immediate medical help. Do NOT make a person throw up unless told to do so by Poison Control or a health care professional.

    If the chemical is on the skin or in the eyes, flush with lots of water for at least 15 minutes.

    If the chemical was swallowed, immediately give the person water or milk, unless instructed otherwise by a health care provider. Do NOT give water or milk if the patient is having symptoms (such as vomiting, convulsions, or a decreased level of alertness) that make it hard to swallow.

    Before Calling Emergency

    Determine the following information:

    • Patient's age, weight, and condition
    • Name of the product (ingredients and strength, if known)
    • Time it was swallowed
    • Amount swallowed

    Poison Control

    Inthe United States, call 1-800-222-1222 to speak with a local poison control center. This hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.

    This is a free and confidential service. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    Take the container with you to the hospital, if possible.

    See: Poison control center - emergency number

    What to Expect at the Emergency Room

    The health care provider will measure and monitor your vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated as appropriate. You may receive:

    • Activated charcoal
    • Artificial respiration
    • Fluids by IV
    • Tube through the mouth into the stomach to wash out the stomach (gastric lavage)
    • Medicines for allergic reactions

    Outlook (Prognosis)

    How well you do depends on the amount of poison swallowed and how quickly treatment is received. The faster you get medical help, the better the chance for recovery.

    Swallowing sunscreen products containing PABA rarely causes symptoms, except in very large doses. Some people may be allergic to PABA.

    BACK TO TOP

          A Closer Look

            Talking to your MD

              Self Care

                Tests for Para-aminobenzoic acid

                  Review Date: 9/12/2012

                  Reviewed By: A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, and David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by Eric Perez, MD, St. Luke's / Roosevelt Hospital Center, NY, NY, and Pegasus Emergency Group (Meadowlands and Hunterdon Medical Centers), NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network ( 2/16/2012).

                  The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
                  adam.com

                  A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and chrome browser.


                  Back  |  Top
                  About Us
                  Contact Us
                  History
                  Mission
                  Locations & Directions
                  Quality Reports
                  Annual Reports
                  Honors & Awards
                  Community Health Needs
                  Assessment

                  Newsroom
                  Services
                  Brain & Spine
                  Cancer
                  Heart
                  Maternity
                  Orthopedics
                  Pulmonary
                  Sleep Medicine
                  Urgent Care
                  Women's Services
                  All Services
                  Patients & Visitors
                  Locations & Directions
                  Find a Physician
                  Tour St. Luke's
                  Patient & Visitor Information
                  Contact Us
                  Payment Options
                  Financial Assistance
                  Send a Card
                  Mammogram Appointments
                  Health Tools
                  My Personal Health
                  mystlukes
                  Spirit of Women
                  Health Information & Tools
                  Clinical Trials
                  Health Risk Assessments
                  Employer Programs -
                  Passport to Wellness

                  Classes & Events
                  Classes & Events
                  Spirit of Women
                  Donate & Volunteer
                  Giving Opportunities
                  Volunteer
                  Physicians & Employees
                  For Physicians
                  Remote Access
                  Medical Residency Information
                  Pharmacy Residency Information
                  Physician CPOE Training
                  Careers
                  Careers
                  St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
                  Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Patient Notice of Privacy Policies PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile