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Natural health supplements sometimes have unexpected side effects or interactions with medication that can lead to adverse reactions that are sometimes life threatening. The following is a list of cautions that you should be aware of before using Yohimbe (Pausinystalia yohimbe) or yohimbine hydrochloride. These are referred to as drug/herb interactions.

Warning 1 - Contraindications: People with kidney problems and/or psychiatric conditions should not use yohimbe. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take yohimbe.

Warning 2 - ACE inhibitors: Yohimbe may decrease or block the actions of ACE inhibitors. Experts recommend avoiding concurrent use.

Warning 3 - Alpha-adrenergic blockers: Use of Yohimbe with alpha-adrenergic blockers may result in increased toxicity. Experts recommend avoiding concurrent use.

Warning 4 - Central Nervous System Stimulants: Yohimbe may result in increased CNS stimulation. Experts recommend avoiding concurrent use.

Warning 5 - MAOIs: Yohimbe may increase the effects of MAOIs. Experts recommend avoiding concurrent use.

Warning 6 - Phenothiazines: Use of Yohimbe with phenothiazines may result in increased toxicity. Experts recommend avoiding concurrent use.

Warning 7 - SSRIs: Using Yohimbe with SSRIs may cause an increase in CNS stimulation. Experts recommend avoiding concurrent use.

Warning 8 - Sympathomimetics: The use of sympathomimetics with Yohimbe increases toxicity Experts recommend avoiding concurrent use.

Warning 9 - Tricyclic antidepressants: The use of Yohimbe with tricyclic antidepressants may result in increased hypertension. Dosage may need to be lowered.

Used as a natural health remedy: Yohimbe is used internally for impotence and as an aphrodisiac (to increase sexual desire) and as an aid in weight loss. (See other herbs for weight loss)The active ingredient in yohimbe is yohimbine hydrochloride, a crystalline alkaloid. Yohimbine hydrochloride is the only FDA-approved herbal substance for treating certain type of male impotence. It works by dilating certain blood vessels in the penis and increases the release of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that is helpful in producing erections.

Used as an aid to dieting, yohimbe raises metabolic rates, reduces appetite and increases fat burning.

Side Effects of Yohimbe

The known side effects of using Yohimbe include the following:
  1. Anxiety and panic attacks
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Dizziness
  4. Headache
  5. Increased blood pressure (hypertension)
  6. Increased heart rate
  7. Insomnia
  8. Nervousness
  9. Nausea
  10. Stomach pain
  11. Tachycardia (abnormally rapid heartbeat: over 100 beats per minute)
  12. Tremors
  13. Vomiting
Other side effects may also occur when using Yohimbe. (See form below)

As with any herb, a serious allergic reaction is possible. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction. These may include a rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, or trouble breathing.

Return to the Herb List.

For questions and answers about the side effects of herbs see the Herb Forum

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This consumer advocate website is protected by copyright 2011 Askdocweb, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This is a layman's report on Yohimbe and is not intended to replace discussions with a health care provider. Do not use the information on this forum as a substitute for your doctor's advice. Always consult your doctor before taking any drug and follow your doctor's directions. Source material: Food and Drug Administration, Medline, Physician's Desk Reference, and the largest community of people in the world, those who are concerned about side effects and healthcare.
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