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Yohimbine (Procomil) is a psychoactive drug of the tryptamine chemical class with stimulant and aphrodisiac effects. It is an alkaloid and is found naturally in Pausinystalia yohimbe (Yohimbe), formerly known as Corynanthe yohimbe, as the herb's primary active constituent. It is also found naturally in Rauwolfia serpentina (Indian Snakeroot), along with several other active alkaloids. Yohimbine has been used as both an over-the-counter dietary supplement in herbal extract form and prescription medicine in pure form for the treatment of sexual dysfunction(e.d.).

Indications

Sexual

The NIHmarker states that yohimbine hydrochloride is the standardized form of yohimbine that is available as a prescription medicine in the United Statesmarker, and has been shown in human studies to be effective in the treatment of male impotence.

Yohimbine Hydrochloride, USP—a standardized form of yohimbine—is a prescription medicine that has been used to treat erectile dysfunction. Controlled studies suggest that it is not always an effective treatment for impotence, and evidence of increased sex drive (libido) is anecdotal only.

Yohimbine has been shown to be effective in the reversal of sexual satiety and exhaustion in male rats. Yohimbine has also been shown to increase the volume of ejaculated semen in dogs, with the effect lasting at least five hours after administration. Yohimbine has been shown to be effective in the treatment of orgasmic dysfunction in men.

Other uses

Yohimbine has also been used for the treatment of sexual side effects caused by some antidepressants (SSRIs), female hyposexual disorder, as a blood pressure boosting agent in autonomic failure, xerostomia, and as a probe for noradrenergic activity.

Yohimbine has been used to facilitate recall of traumatic memories in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Use of yohimbine outside therapeutic settings may not be appropriate for persons suffering from PTSD.

According to one study, oral yohimbine supplementation may actuate significant fat loss in athletes. Some internet shops sell expensive formulations of yohimbine for transdermal delivery to effect a local reduction of adipose tissue, although there is no experimental evidence that it is effective. Demand for products of this kind is frequently found in the bodybuilding community.

In veterinary medicine, yohimbine is used to reverse anesthesia from the drug xylazine in small and large animals.

Pharmacology

Yohimbine has high affinity for the α2A-adrenergic, α2B-adrenergic, and α2C-adrenergic receptor, moderate affinity for the 5-HT1A, 5-HT1B, 5-HT1D, 5-HT2B, and D2 receptor, and weak affinity for the D3 receptor. Yohimbine also has unknown but significant affinity for the 5-HT2A receptor. Yohimbine behaves as an antagonist at all receptor except for the 5-HT1A, 5-HT1D, and 5-HT2A receptors, where it acts as a weak partial agonist.

Production

Yohimbine is the principal alkaloid of the bark of the West African evergreen Pausinystalia yohimbe (formerly Corynanthe yohimbe), family Rubiaceae (Madder family). There are 31 other yohimbane alkaloids found in Yohimbe. In Africa, yohimbe has traditionally been used as an aphrodisiac. However, it is very important to note that while the terms yohimbine, yohimbine hydrochloride, and yohimbe bark extract are related, they are not interchangeable.

The main active chemical present in yohimbe bark is yohimbine HCl (indole alkaloid), found in the bark of the Pausinystalia yohimbe tree.

However, the levels of yohimbine that are present in yohimbe bark extract are variable and often very low. Therefore, although yohimbe bark has been used traditionally to reduce male erectile dysfunction, there is not enough scientific evidence to form a definitive conclusion in this area.

Adverse effects

Yohimbine has significant side effects, such as anxiety reactions. According to the Mayo Clinic, yohimbine can be dangerous if used in excessive amounts.

Higher doses of oral yohimbine may create numerous side effects, such as rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, overstimulation, insomnia and/or sleeplessness. Some effects in rare cases were panic attacks, hallucinations, headaches, dizziness, and skin flushing.

More serious adverse effects may include seizures and renal failure. Yohimbine should not be consumed by anyone with liver, kidney, heart disease, or a psychological disorder.

The range between an effective dose and a dangerous dose is very narrow; too large of a dosage can be harmful and toxic. This may also lead to precipitation of panic disorder type reactions.

References

External links




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