L-Arginine

How does L-arginine work?

L-arginine is converted in the body into a chemical called nitric oxide. Nitric oxide causes blood vessels to open wider for improved blood flow. L-arginine also stimulates the release of growth hormone, insulin, and other substances in the body.

Are there safety concerns?

L-arginine is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken appropriately by mouth, administered as a shot, or applied to the skin, short-term. It can cause some side effects such as abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, gout, blood abnormalities, allergies, airway inflammation, worsening of asthma, and low blood pressure.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: L-arginine is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth appropriately for a short-term during pregnancy. Not enough is known about using L-arginine long-term in pregnancy or during breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Children: L-arginine is POSSIBLY SAFE when used by mouth in premature infants in appropriate doses. However, L-arginine is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when used in high doses. Doses that are too high can cause serious side effects including death in children.

Allergies or asthma: L-arginine can cause an allergic response or make swelling in the airways worse. If you are prone to allergies or asthma and decide to take L-arginine, use it with caution.

Cirrhosis: L-arginine should be used with caution in people with cirrhosis.

Guanidinoacetate methyltransferase deficiency: People with this inherited condition are unable to convert arginine and other similar chemicals into creatine. To prevent complications associated with this condition, these people should should not take arginine.

Herpes: There is a concern that L-arginine might make herpes worse. There is some evidence that L-arginine is needed for the herpes virus to multiply.

Low blood pressure: L-arginine might lower blood pressure. This could be a problem if you already have low blood pressure.

Recent heart attack: There is a concern that L-arginine might increase the risk of death after a heart attack, especially in older people. If you have had a heart attack recently, don't take L-arginine.

Kidney disease: L-arginine has caused high potassium levels when used by people with kidney disease. In some cases, this has resulted in a potentially life-threatening irregular heartbeat.

Surgery: L-arginine might affect blood pressure. There is a concern that it might interfere with blood pressure control during and after surgery. Stop taking L-arginine at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.


Therapeutic Research Faculty copyright

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors