Safety and side effects
Using L-arginine orally or topically is generally considered safe.
Oral use of L-arginine might cause:
- Abdominal pain
- Allergic response
- Airway inflammation or worsening of asthma symptoms
L-arginine isn't recommended after a 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:
Oct. 24, 2017
- 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. L-arginine might reduce blood pressure in people who have high blood pressure. Combining use of L-arginine with a blood pressure drug, herb or supplement might increase the risk of blood pressure becoming too low.
- Diabetes drugs, herbs and supplements. L-arginine 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. 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 L-arginine might cause your blood pressure to become too low.
- Water pills (potassium-sparing diuretics). Don't take amiloride (Midamor), spironolactone (Aldactone) or triamterene (Dyrenium) with L-arginine. These medications can increase potassium levels, increasing the risk of developing a higher than normal level of potassium in your blood (hyperkalemia).
- Sildenafil (Viagra). Use of this erectile dysfunction medication with L-arginine might cause your blood pressure to become too low.
- L-arginine. Natural Medicines. https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com. Accessed Sept. 7, 2017.
- L-arginine. Facts & Comparisons eAnswers. http://www.wolterskluwercdi.com/facts-comparisons-online/. Accessed Aug. 27, 2017.
- Arginine. Micromedex 2.0 Healthcare Series. http://www.micromedexsolutions.com. Accessed Sept. 7, 2017.
- L-arginine. Pub Chem: Open Chemistry Database. National Institutes of Health. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/L-arginine. Accessed Aug. 15, 2017.