ArginMax

Purported Benefits, Side Effects & More
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ArginMax

For Patients & Caregivers

Tell your healthcare providers about any dietary supplements you’re taking, such as herbs, vitamins, minerals, and natural or home remedies. This will help them manage your care and keep you safe.


How It Works

ArginMax was shown in small studies to improve sexual performance in both women and men.

ArginMax is a dietary supplement that contains Gingko biloba, Panax ginseng, American ginseng, gamiana, L-arginine, Vitamins A, C, E, B-complex, zinc and selenium. The manufacturers of ArginMax claim that it helps improve sexual performance in both men and women. Sexual dysfunction may involve loss of sexual desire, arousal, difficulty in maintaining arousal, painful intercourse, or difficulty in achieving orgasm. Factors responsible can include stress, hormonal imbalance, antidepressant use, menopause, and cancer treatment, among others.

The herbal components of ArginMax are thought to improve sexual satisfaction by increasing blood flow and by promoting muscle relaxation. Small studies suggest Arginmax may improve sexual function, but a study in female cancer survivors did not see such benefit although improved quality of life was reported.

Patients with hormone sensitive cancers should be careful as ginseng can have estrogenic effects. L-arginine can worsen asthma symptoms and affect blood sugar, so patients with asthma or diabetes should also be careful when using this product. Ginseng and ginkgo can cause interactions with other prescription drugs.

Purported Uses and Benefits
  • Female sexual dysfunction
    Small studies suggest ArginMax may improve sexual satisfaction, but a study in female cancer survivors did not find such benefit.
  • Erectile dysfunction
    ArginMax improved the overall sex life in men with erectile dysfunction.
Patient Warnings

Sexual dysfunction could be a result of other complex underlying physical, biological, or psychological disorders. Patients should consult with and be monitored by a physician when using this product.

Do Not Take If
  • You are pregnant or nursing.
  • You have diabetes: L-arginine may affect blood sugar levels.
  • You have asthma: L-arginine may worsen symptoms.
  • You have a hormone-sensitive cancer: Ginseng may have estrogenic effects.
  • You are taking prescription drugs: Herbal components of ArginMax may interact with various drugs.
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For Healthcare Professionals

Clinical Summary

ArginMax is a nutritional supplement containing Gingko biloba, Panax ginseng, American ginseng, damiana, L-arginine, Vitamins A, C, E, B-complex, zinc and selenium. It is promoted to help both female sexual dysfunction and erectile dysfunction in men. Sexual dysfunction may involve loss of sexual desire, difficulty maintaining arousal, painful intercourse, or difficulty achieving orgasm. It can result from factors such as stress, hormonal imbalances, cancer treatment, antidepressant use, or menopause.

ArginMax is thought to enhance blood circulation and muscle relaxation resulting in increased sexual satisfaction. Pilot studies suggest improvements in women with sexual dysfunction (1) (13) and men with erectile dysfunction (2), but a study in female cancer survivors did not see such benefit although improved quality of life was reported (14).

ArginMax contains ginseng, which may have estrogenic effects although data are conflicting (6) (7). L-arginine may worsen symptoms in people with allergen-induced asthma (8) and reduce blood pressure (9). It may also affect blood sugar levels (10) and should be used with caution in patients with diabetes.

Purported Uses and Benefits
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Female sexual dysfunction
Mechanism of Action

The main ingredient in ArginMax is L-arginine, an essential amino acid and a precursor to nitric oxide that may modulate vaginal blood supply and smooth muscle relaxation (3). Ginsenosides present in ginseng have been shown to increase nitric oxide production (4). Gingko is believed to facilitate microvascular circulation (5). Damiana’s prosexual effects have been shown to involve the nitric oxide pathway. The anxiolytic activity of this herb is also thought to contribute to such effects (15).

Warnings

Sexual dysfunction could be a result of other complex underlying physical, biological, or psychological disorders. Patients should consult and be monitored by a physician when using this product.

Contraindications
  • Pregnancy
  • Nursing
  • Sensitivity to any of the constituents
  • Hormone sensitive cancer as ginseng may have estrogenic activity although data are mixed (6) (7).
  • Diabetes because L-arginine may affect blood sugar levels (10)
  • Asthma as L-arginine may worsen symptoms (8)
Herb-Drug Interactions
  • Anticoagulants: Ginkgo may have additive effects with blood thinning drugs while ginseng can antagonize their effects.
  • Antihypertensive and hypoglycemic drugs: L-arginine may have additive effects with antihypertensive and hypoglycemic drugs (9) (10).
Dosage (OneMSK Only)
References
  1. Ito TY, Trant AS, Polan ML. A double-blind placebo-controlled study of ArginMax, a nutritional supplement for enhancement of female sexual function. J Sex Marital Ther 2001; 27(5):541-549.
  2. Ito T, Kawahara K, Das A, Strudwick W. The effects of ArginMax, a natural dietary supplement for enhancement of male sexual function. Hawaii Med J 1998; 57(12):741-744.
  3. McKay D. Nutrients and botanicals for erectile dysfunction: examining the evidence. Altern Med Rev 2004; 9(1):4-16.
  4. Murphy LL, Lee TJ. Ginseng, sex behavior, and nitric oxide. Ann N Y Acad Sci 2002; 962:372-377.
  5. Boelsma E, Lamers RJ, Hendriks HF, van Nesselrooij JH, Roza L. Evidence of the regulatory effect of Ginkgo biloba extract on skin blood flow and study of its effects on urinary metabolites in healthy humans. Planta Med 2004; 70(11):1052-1057.
  6. Lee YJ, et al. Ginsenoside-Rb1 acts a weak phytoestrogen in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. Arch Pharm Res 2003; 26(1):58-63.
  7. Polan ML, et al. Estrogen bioassay of ginseng extract and Arginmax, a nutritional supplement for the enhancement of female sexual function. J Womens Health 2004; 13(4):427-430.
  8. Takano, et al. Oral administration of L-arginine potentiates allergen-induced airway inflammation and expression of interleukin-5 in mice. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 1997; 286(2):767-71.
  9. Gokce N. L-arginine and hypertension. J Nutr 2004;134:2807S-2811S.
  10. Kabat A and Dhein S. L-arginine supplementation prevents the development of endothelial dysfunction in hyperglycemia. Pharmacology 2005;76:185-91.
  11. Dennehy CE, Tsournounis, Miller AE. Evaluation of herbal dietary supplements marketed on internet for recreational use. Am Pharmacother 2005;39:1634-9.
  12. Product web site. www.arginmax.com. Accessed March 24, 2022.
  13. Ito TY, Polan ML, Whipple B, Trant AS. The enhancement of female sexual function with ArginMax, a nutritional supplement, among women differing in menopausal status. J Sex Marital Ther 2006;32(5):369-78.
  14. Greven KM, Case LD, Nycum LR, et al. Effect of ArginMax on sexual functioning and quality of life among female cancer survivors: results of the WFU CCOP Research Base Protocol 97106. J Community Support Oncol. 2015 Mar;13(3):87-94.
  15. Estrada-Reyes R, Carro-Juárez M, Martínez-Mota L. Pro-sexual effects of Turnera diffusa Wild (Turneraceae) in male rats involves the nitric oxide pathway. J Ethnopharmacol. 2013 Mar 7;146(1):164-72.
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