High concentrations of inspired oxygen have been reported to have significant hemodynamic effects that may be related to increased free radical production. If oxygen therapy increases free radical production, it may also modify hemodynamic responses to a nitric oxide donor. Twenty-nine healthy male volunteers were studied using randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover designs to determine whether oxygen therapy is associated with hemodynamic and forearm vascular effects. We measured hemodynamic parameters and forearm vascular responses before and 1 h after exposure to 100% oxygen versus medical air. Plasma 8-iso-PGF2alpha and plasma vitamin C were measured to assess the biochemical effects of oxygen administration. Hemodynamic measurements were also made following the acute administration of sublingual nitroglycerin. Oxygen therapy caused no significant change in blood pressure, plasma 8-iso-PGF2alpha, or vitamin C. Oxygen did cause a significant reduction in heart rate and forearm blood flow, and an increase in peripheral vascular resistance. Oxygen caused no change in the hemodynamic response to nitroglycerin. Therefore, in healthy young adults, therapy with 100% oxygen does not affect blood pressure, despite causing an increase in vascular resistance, is not associated with evidence of increased free radical injury, and does not affect the hemodynamic responses to nitroglycerin.