While the pathogenesis of acetic acid (AA)-induced colitis is unclear, reactive oxygen species are considered to have a significant effect. The aim of the present study was to elucidate the therapeutic potential of dexpanthenol (Dxp) on the amelioration of colitis in rats. Group I (n=8; control group) was intrarectally administered 1 ml saline solution (0.9%); group II [n=8; AA] was administered 4% AA into the colon via the rectum as a single dose for three consecutive days; group III (n=8; AA + Dxp) was administered AA at the same dosage as group II from day 4, and a single dose of Dxp was administered intraperitoneally; and group IV (n=8; Dxp) was administered Dxp similarly to Group III. Oxidative stress and colonic damage were assessed via biochemical and histologic examination methods. AA treatment led to an increase in oxidative parameters and a decrease in antioxidant systems. Histopathological examination showed that AA treatment caused tissue injury and increased caspase-3 activity in the distal colon and triggered apoptosis. Dxp treatment caused biochemical and histopathological improvements, indicating that Dxp may have an anti-oxidant effect in colitis; therefore, Dxp may be a potential therapeutic agent for the amelioration of IBD.