With approximately 30% of adults in the U.S. diagnosed with high blood pressure, medications to lower blood pressure are all but rare. There are several types of blood pressure medications as well as supplements that contain l-arginine that have proven to lower blood pressure. But is taking l-arginine and blood pressure medications safe?
Blood Pressure Medications
Blood pressure medications come in many forms and most are used to either remove plaque buildup causing high blood pressure or to increase blood flow throughout the body by opening up arteries and blood vessels.
There are also various side effects that arise from different types of medications, some more serious than others. Though they are effective, some people may not find the risk worth it.
L-arginine has been studied to effectively lower blood pressure through the production of nitric oxide in the blood. Nitric oxide is a natural gas found in the body that dilates and loosens constricted blood vessels to promote a healthier blood flow.
One study done in 2010 showed that participants with high blood pressure given 12 grams of l-arginine a day lowered their blood pressure more than patients who only took 6 grams a day or none at all.
Before taking any medication or supplement that is for a specific condition (ie, blood pressure, cholesterol) consult your doctor. You may not be aware of side effects from conflicting supplements and medications with your body specifically.
Because l-arginine naturally lowers blood pressure, it is considered unsafe to take l-arginine simultaneously with blood pressure medication. Taking both could result in your blood pressure dropping too low and creating a new set of heart problems.
Some medications like Cozaar, Vasotec, Cardizem, and Capoten are rated as being highly dangerous to mix with l-arginine. Others like Avapro, Monopril, Atlace, and Lotensin are a moderate risk but are still not recommended to combine with l-arginine.
If you want to take l-arginine, talk to your doctor about the possibility of gradually lessening your medication dosage and relying on l-arginine to lower blood pressure instead.