Nitric Oxide-Releasing Drugs

Claudio Napoli, Louis J. Ignarro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pharmacological compounds that release nitric oxide (NO) have been useful tools for evaluating the broad role of NO in physiology and therapeutics. NO deficiency has been implicated in the genesis and evolution of several disease states. Both medical needs and commercial opportunities have fostered attempts to modulate NO in the human body for therapeutic gain. Strategies for NO modulation encompass antiinflammatory, sexual dysfunction, and cardiovascular indications. Apart from newly developed drugs, several commonly used cardiovascular drugs exert their beneficial action, at least in part, by modulating the NO pathway. This review discusses the fundamental pharmacological properties and mechanisms of action of NO-releasing drugs. Some of these compounds may enter in the clinical arena providing important therapeutic benefits in human diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-123
Number of pages27
JournalAnnual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • β-blockers
  • ACE-inhibitors
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Nitroprusside
  • NO-aspirin
  • S-nitrosothiols

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Toxicology


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