Yohimbe Side Effects & Warnings

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Yohimbe is a tree bark containing a variety of pharmacologically active chemicals. It is marketed in a number of products for body building and "enhanced male performance." 

Serious adverse effects, including renal failure, seizures and death, have been reported to FDA with products containing yohimbe and are currently under investigation.  Food and Drug Administration 

The major identified alkaloid in yohimbe is yohimbine, a chemical that causes vasodilation, thereby lowering blood pressure. 

Yohimbine is also a prescription drug in the United States. Side effects are well recognized and may include central nervous system stimulation that causes anxiety attacks. 

At high doses, yohimbine is a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor. MAO inhibitors can cause serious adverse effects when taken concomitantly with tyramine-containing foods (e.g., liver, cheeses, red wine) or with over-the-counter (OTC) products containing phenylpropanolamine, such as nasal decongestants and diet aids. 

Individuals taking yohimbe should be warned to rigorously avoid these foods and OTC products because of the increased likelihood of adverse effects.

Yohimbe should also be avoided by individuals with hypotension (low blood pressure), diabetes, and heart, liver or kidney disease. 

Symptoms of over dosage include weakness and nervous stimulation followed by paralysis, fatigue, stomach disorders, and ultimately death.

Yohimbe can be toxic and should be avoided. The effective dose is very close to the toxic dose. Self-medication is strongly discouraged because of its side effects. 

Yohimbine from yohimbe bark can produce significant side effects even in moderate to small amounts, especially if taken over a long period of time.

May induce excessive adrenal or sympathetic nerve stimulation, anxiety, panic attacks, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, irritability, headache, nausea, skin flushing, sweating, dizziness, frequent urination, water retention, rise in body temperature, and hyperactivity, weakness, paralysis, gastrointestinal problems, hallucinations, psychosis and even death.

People who have inflammation in their sexual organs should not use Yohimbe.

Yohimbe should not be used by people who are taking drugs - especially tranquilizers, anti-depressants, sedatives, caffeine, amphetamines, antihistamines or narcotics - or significant amounts of alcohol.

Anyone with a heart condition, kidney disease, diabetes, glaucoma, abnormal blood pressure, irregular blood sugar, psychological disorders, or history of gastric or duodenal ulcers should avoid this herb.

Advise your health care practitioner before taking any yohimbe-containing product if you are taking cardiac or psychiatric medication

Yohimbe is also a short term MAO (monoamine oxidase) inhibitor and should be used with caution, especially if you have high blood pressure. 

Being an MAO inhibitor, yohimbe should not be taken with any food or drink that contain high amounts of tyramine (all wines, beer and ale; cheese, products made with large amount of yeast, salami, sausage, bologna, pepperoni, pickled herring, meat extracts, chicken liver, salted dried fish, avocado, tomato, green bean pods, eggplant, Italian broad beans, banana, red plums, oranges, figs, raisins, soy sauce, bouillon cubes, soya, stored beef) and particularly not with the amino acids tyrosine or phenylalanine. 

A rise in blood pressure can result from the body not being able to remove the tyramines from these foods. Learn more about Yohimbe.


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