L-arginine is considered to be generally safe. It might be effective at lowering blood pressure, reducing the symptoms of angina and PAD, and treating erectile dysfunction due to a physical cause.
However, if you take a blood pressure drug, talk to your doctor before using L-arginine.
Safety and side effects
Using L-arginine orally or topically is generally considered safe.
Oral use of L-arginine might cause:
- Nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea
- Allergic response
- Airway inflammation or worsening of asthma symptoms
L-arginine isn’t recommended for people who have had a recent heart attack due to concerns that the supplement might increase the risk of death.
L-arginine can worsen allergies or asthma. Use the supplement with caution if you have these conditions.
Be careful about taking L-arginine if you’ve had cold sores or genital herpes. Too much L-arginine in your system can potentially trigger the virus that causes those conditions.
Possible interactions include:
- Anticoagulants and anti-platelet drugs, herbs and supplements. These types of drugs, herbs and supplements reduce blood clotting. Taking L-arginine with them might increase the risk of bleeding.
- Blood pressure drugs, herbs and supplements. Larginine might lower blood pressure in people who have high blood pressure. Combining use of Larginine with a blood pressure drug, herb or supplement might increase the risk of blood pressure becoming too low.
- Diabetes drugs, herbs and supplements. Larginine might decrease blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. If you’re taking diabetes drugs, herbs or supplements, your dosage might need to be adjusted.
- Isoproterenol (Isuprel). Use of this heart medication with L-arginine might cause your blood pressure to become too low.
- Nitrates. Use of this chest pain medication with Larginine might cause your blood pressure to become too low.
- Water pills (potassium-sparing diuretics). Don’t take Larginine with amiloride (Midamor), spironolactone (Aldactone, Carospir) or triamterene (Dyrenium). These medications can increase potassium levels, increasing the risk of developing a higher than normal level of potassium in your blood (hyperkalemia).
- Sildenafil (Revatio, Viagra). Use of this erectile dysfunction medication with Larginine might cause your blood pressure to become too low.
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