Effect of oral administration of high-dose nitric oxide donor L-arginine in men with organic erectile dysfunction: Results of a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study

J. Chen*, Y. Wollman, T. Chernichovsky, A. Iaina, M. Sofer, H. Matzkin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

147 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives. To determine, in a prospective randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study, the effect of 6 weeks of high-dose (5 g/day) orally administered nitric oxide (NO) donor L-arginine on men with organic erectile dysfunction (ED). Patients and methods. The study included 50 men with confirmed organic ED who were randomized after a 2-week placebo run-in period to receive L-arginine or placebo. A detailed medical and sexual history, O'Leary's questionnaire, a specially designed sexual function questionnaire and a sexual activity diary were obtained for each patient. All participants underwent a complete physical examination including an assessment of bulbocavernosus reflex and penile haemodynamics. Plasma and urine nitrite and nitrate (designated NO(x)), both stable metabolites of nitric oxide, were determined at the end of the placebo run-in period, and after 3 and 6 weeks. Results. Nine of 29 (31%) patients taking L-arginine and two of 17 controls reported a significant subjective improvement in sexual function. All objective variables assessed remained unchanged. All nine patients treated with L-arginine and who had subjectively improved sexual performance had had an initially low urinary NO(x), and this level had doubled at the end of the study. Conclusions. Oral administration of L-arginine in high doses seems to cause significant subjective improvement in sexual function in men with organic ED only if they have decreased NO(x) excretion or production. The haemodynamics of the corpus cavernosum were not affected by oral L-arginine at the dosage used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-273
Number of pages5
JournalBJU International
Volume83
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

Keywords

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • L-arginine
  • Nitric oxide donor
  • Oral treatment

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