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L-arginine is an amino acid naturally found in red meat, poultry, fish, and dairy. It is necessary for making proteins and is commonly used for circulation.

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. It can be made in a lab and used in supplements.

People use L-arginine for chest pain and various blood flow issues, erectile dysfunction, high blood pressure during pregnancy, and a serious disease in premature infants called necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). It's also used for many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these other uses.

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When taken by mouth: L-arginine is possibly safe for most people when taken short-term. It can cause some side effects such as stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea, and low blood pressure.

When applied to the skin: L-arginine is possibly safe for most people when used short-term. It's also possibly safe when used in a toothpaste short-term.

When inhaled: L-arginine is possibly safe for most people when used short-term.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

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

Breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if L-arginine is safe to use when breast-feeing. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Children: L-arginine is possibly safe in children when taken by mouth, when used in a toothpaste, or when inhaled.

Guanidinoacetate methyltransferase deficiency (GAMT): People with this inherited condition are unable to convert arginine and other similar chemicals into creatine. To prevent complications from this condition, avoid L-arginine supplements.

Recent heart attack: 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 dangerous irregular heartbeat.

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

Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

L-arginine seems to decrease blood pressure. Taking L-arginine along with medications for high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low.

Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), Amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDiuril), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.

Medications that increase blood flow to the heart (Nitrates)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

L-Arginine increases blood flow. Taking L-arginine with medications that increase blood flow to the heart might increase the chance of dizziness and lightheadedness.

Some of these medications that increase blood flow to the heart include nitroglycerin (Nitro-Bid, Nitro-Dur, Nitrostat), and isosorbide (Imdur, Isordil, Sorbitrate).

Sildenafil (Viagra)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Sildenafil (Viagra) can lower blood pressure. L-arginine can also lower blood pressure. Taking sildenafil and L-arginine together might cause the blood pressure to go too low. Blood pressure that is too low can cause dizziness and other side effects.

Herbs and supplements that might lower blood pressure: L-arginine might lower blood pressure. Taking it with other supplements that have the same effect might cause blood pressure to drop too much. Examples of supplements with this effect include andrographis, casein peptides, niacin, and stinging nettle.
Herbs and supplements that might lower blood sugar: L-arginine might lower blood sugar. Taking it with other supplements with similar effects might lower blood sugar too much. Examples of supplements with this effect include aloe, bitter melon, cassia cinnamon, chromium, and prickly pear cactus.
Herbs and supplements that might slow blood clotting: L-arginine might slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding. Taking it with other supplements with similar effects might increase the risk of bleeding in some people. Examples of supplements with this effect include garlic, ginger, ginkgo, nattokinase, and Panax ginseng.

There are no known interactions with foods.

L-arginine has most often been used by adults in doses that vary from 1.5 to 24 grams by mouth daily, for up to 18 months. It's also sometimes used in gels and creams. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what type of product or dose might be best for a specific condition.

2-Amino-5-(diaminomethylidene amino) pentanoic acid, 2-Amino-5-guanidinopentanoic Acid, (2S)-2-Amino-5-{[amino (imino) methyl]amino}pentanoic Acid, (S)-2-Amino-5- Guanidinopentanoic Acid, Acide 2-Amino-5-Guanidinopentanoïque, Arg, Arginine, Arginine Aspartate, Arginine Ethyl Ester, Arginine Ethyl Ester Dihydrochloride, Arginine Ethyl Ester HCl, Arginine HCl, Arginine Hydrochloride, Di-Arginine Malate, Di-Arginine Orotate, Di-L-Arginine-L-Malate, Dl-Arginine, L-Arginina, L-Arginine Ethyl Ester Dichloride, L-Arginine HCl, L-Arginine Hexanoate, L-Arginine Hydrochloride, L-Arginine Ketoisocaproic Acid, L-Arginine L-Pyroglutamate, L-Arginine Pyroglutamate, L-Arginine Taurinate, Malate de Di-Arginine, Orotate de Di-Arginine, R-Gene 10.

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