How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Yohimbine belongs to the class of medications called sympatholytics. It is used to treat erectile dysfunction (impotence) for men. It is not indicated for use in women.

It is thought to work by increasing the body's production of certain chemicals that promote erections.

This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

2 mg
Each round, powder blue, uncoated, scored, embossed tablet, engraved "O/2.0" contains yohimbine HCl 2 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: cellulose, FD&C Blue No. 1, magnesium stearate, and sodium starch glycolate. This medication does not contain gluten, lactose, or tartrazine.

5.4 mg
Each oval, pink, uncoated, scored, embossed tablet, engraved "O/5.4" contains yohimbine HCl 5.4 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: cellulose, FD&C Red No. 3, magnesium stearate, and sodium starch glycolate. This medication does not contain gluten, lactose, or tartrazine.

6 mg
Each round, pink, uncoated, scored tablet, engraved "Yohimbine O-6" contains yohimbine HCl 6 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: cellulose, FD&C Red No. 3, lactose, and magnesium stearate. This medication does not contain gluten or tartrazine.

How should I use this medication?

The dose of yohimbine varies for different people. An average dose ranges from 5.4 mg to 6 mg 3 times a day, with or without food. The number of tablets you will need depends on the strength of medication you are using.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

This medication usually begins to improve erectile dysfunction problems about 2 or 3 weeks after you start treatment.

It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and carry on with your usual dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not take this medication if you:

  • are sensitive or allergic to yohimbine or any ingredients of this medication
  • have kidney disease or heart disease

What side effects are possible with this medication?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.

The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • irritability
  • muscle aches
  • nausea
  • skin flushing
  • sweating
  • tremor
  • trouble sleeping
  • vomiting

Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • anxiety
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • fast breathing
  • fast heartbeat
  • increased blood pressure
  • irritability
  • nervousness
  • rash
  • restlessness
  • signs of kidney problems (e.g., increased urination at night, decreased urine production, blood in the urine, change of urine colour)
  • tingling and numbness in the legs and feet

Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:

  • prolonged (longer than 4 hours), painful, or inappropriate erection of penis
  • seizures
  • signs of heart attack (e.g., sudden chest pain or pain radiating to back, down arm, jaw; sensation of fullness of the chest; nausea; vomiting; sweating; anxiety)

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.

Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Diabetes: People with diabetes who take yohimbine may experience increased episodes of low blood sugar. If you have diabetes, you may need to monitor your blood sugar more frequently.

Heart problems: Yohimbine can cause increased blood pressure, narrowing of the blood vessels and increased heart rate. If you have heart disease, such as angina, high blood pressure or an irregular heartbeat, this medication may make these conditions worse. Discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Kidney function: If you have kidney problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Liver function: If you have liver problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Mental health: Yohimbine may cause restlessness, agitation, and anxiety.  Yohimbine may cause changes in behavior and thought disturbances for some people who have or are at risk of psychiatric illness. If you experience symptoms such as hallucinations, mania (feeling unusually over-excited or uninhibited), or delusional thinking, or notice them in a family member who is taking this medication, contact your doctor as soon as possible.

Seniors: This medication is not recommended for use by seniors.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

There may be an interaction between yohimbine and any of the following:

  • alpha-agonists (e.g., clonidine, methyldopa)
  • alpha-blockers (e.g., doxazosin, terazosin)
  • angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs; captopril, enalapril, ramipril)
  • angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs; e.g., candesartan, irbesartan, losartan)
  • medications to treat anxiety (e.g., clonazepam, diazepam, lorazepam, buspirone,)
  • beta-adrenergic blockers (e.g., atenolol, propranolol, sotalol)
  • calcium channel blockers (e.g., amlodipine, diltiazem, nifedipine, verapamil)
  • diuretics (water pills; e.g., furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, triamterene)
  • minoxidil
  • monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs; e.g., phenelzine, tranylcypromine)
  • tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, clomipramine, desipramine, trimipramine)

If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.

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