Possible side effects of arginine include bloating, diarrhea, gout, abdominal pain and blood abnormalities, but the medication may be beneficial in treating chest pain, erectile dysfunction, high blood pressure and some types of leg pain, according to WebMD. Arginine may also improve post-surgery recovery.
Arginine appears to increase exercise tolerance and alleviate symptoms of chest pain, and consuming 5 grams by mouth each day may improve sexual function in erectile dysfunction sufferers, as stated by WebMD. Some evidence suggests that taking arginine by mouth reduces blood pressure while arginine added to infant formula may reduce digestive tract inflammation in premature infants. Consuming 700 milligrams of nitrate four times per day may reduce the risk of nitrate dependence, and patients who take arginine with ribonucleic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid before surgery may speed recovery, facilitate wound healing and prevent infection.
Individuals who take arginine may experience airway inflammation, allergies and worsening of asthma, according to WebMD. Patients with asthma, allergies, cirrhosis, herpes, low blood pressure or kidney disease should speak with a doctor before taking arginine. Children should never take large doses of arginine as it can cause serious side effects or death. Arginine may increase risk of death after a heart attack in older patients.