Potaba and Peyronie’s Disease Treatment

Potaba for Peyronie's treatment based on PABA, a vitamin

PABA, or para-aminobenzoic acid, with a formula of H2NC6H4CO2H, is a white crystalline substance that is slightly water soluble.  POTABA, used to treat Peyronie's disease, is simply PABA with a molecule of potassium added to it.

PABA has been referred to as Vitamin Bx because it is an intermediate step in the bacterial manufacturing of folate or folic acid in the intestinal tract.  Some bacteria in the human intestinal tract, such as E. coli, require PABA for proper metabolism. Humans require folate since we lack the enzymes to convert PABA to folate, hence it is made available via the bacterial flora.  Sulfonamide drugs are similar to PABA in their chemical structure, and their antibacterial activity is due to their ability to interfere with the conversion of PABA to folate by the enzyme dihydropteroate synthetase.  In this way bacterial growth is restricted through folate deficiency without effect on human cells.

Medical use of Potaba (potassium para-aminobenzoate)

Potaba inhibits abnormal fibroblast proliferation, thus it can reduce formation of scar material early after injury.  It is speculated that this POTABA anti-inflammatory activity is dependent on initial biotransformation that starts with granulocytes that are stimulated through the initial injury.  It also inhibits abnormal fibroblast proliferation, acid mucopolysaccharide and glycosaminoglycan secretion that occur during the normal inflammatory process.

POTABA has been used to treat a variety of conditions characterized by chronic inflammation and fibrosis; this list includes scleroderma, dermatomyositis, morphea, pulmonary fibrosis and Peyronie's disease.

A POTABA research study was conducted by Carson who retrospectively reviewed 32 patients who were treated with 4,000 Mg of Potaba three times daily, for at least three months and later were followed for an average of 14.4 months.   Carson reported reduction of penile pain in 44% of those studied,  plaque or scar size reduction in 56%, and improvement of penile angulation in 58%. Complete reversal of penile distortion and angulation occurred in 26% of those studied. The average interval to improvement was 4.2 months, and younger patients with a shorter duration of disease were more likely to respond to therapy.  Even thought Carson’s study did not have controls, it suggests a possible role for POTABA in the medical therapy of Peyronie's disease.

Unfortunately, the results of Carson’s retrospective and uncontrolled research were not reported as an intent-to-treat study.  Further, the number of research subjects who started therapy but stopped because of severe abdominal symptoms prior to three months has never been disclosed.

Because of the expense of POTABA, the need to take POTABA three or more times daily, and frequent occurrence of severe gastrointestinal side-effects (burning pain, abdominal cramping, and bowel irritability0, make it very difficult for the average man with Peyronie’s disease to follow the treatment guidelines for even a short time.  Yet in order to be effective, the length of POTABA therapy is variable, but sometimes lasting 12-24 months of active care.

Medical use of PABA

When a single potassium molecule is added to PABA, it results in what is called a potassium salt; this combination of potassium and PABA is called POTABA.  It is used as a drug against fibrotic skin disorders, and as such it can be used in Peyronie's disease treatment.  PABA is also occasionally used to treat Irritable bowel syndrome to and related gastrointestinal symptoms, and in nutritional epidemiological studies to assess the completeness of 24-hour urine collection for the determination of urinary sodium, potassium, or nitrogen levels.

Despite the absence of any recognized syndromes of PABA deficiency in humans, many benefits are claimed for PABA as a nutritional supplement.  PABA is said to improve fatigue, irritability, depression, weeping eczema (moist eczema), scleroderma (premature hardening of skin), a patchy pigment loss in skin called vitiligo, and premature gray hair.

Peyronie’s disease:  POTABA or PABA?

The first Peyronie’s treatment work involved PABA, the vitamin.  When this was shown to be successful, work was then done to show that POTABA, the drug, could be more successful.  The interest is working with POTABA – the drug – was greater than with PABA – the vitamin – because the drug is more profitable and is easier to control use and distribution through the medical profession.

The reason PDI promotes the use of PABA for Peyronie’s disease treatment is because it has almost no side effects, is much less expensive to use, does not require a prescription and it combines well with other Alternative Medicine therapies.

For more information about the many ways to use Alternative Medicine to promote tissue repair and reversal of penile curvature, go to Peyronie’s Disease Institute.


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