Yohimbine HCL: Safe Or Dangerous?
What you will learn...
The primary ingredient used in the yohimbine HCL supplements is Yohimbe. Yohimbe is extracted from the bark of an African evergreen tree and can act as a stimulant.
It can also dilate blood vessels in and around the central nervous system, allowing blood to circulate with greater ease.
There are studies that suggest that Yohimbe may be effective in the treatment of erectile dysfunction, but many groups warn that its side effects present a danger, and consumer reports include Yohimbe on its list of “Hazardous Ingredients,” linked to serious or theoretical risks.
Yohimbe bark extract is related, but not the same as yohimbine hydrochloride.
Yohimbine HCL is a Prescription drug and is strictly regulated by the FDA around testing and labeling. It has to be approved before they can be sold.
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But supplements don’t have the same stringent requirements, nor need FDA approval before you can buy them, as the companies that make and sell them are responsible for their safety and truthful labeling.
Some researchers analyzed several Yohimbe supplements and found that the amount of Yohimbine, which is the key compound, was less than it would be in the tree’s bark.
Indications for Yohimbine Hydrochloride
Yohimbine HCL may be consumed to treat anxiety, depression, dry mouth, erectile dysfunction, orthostatic hypotension, sexual dysfunction, and to a lesser extent, enhance their exercise performance or increase fat loss.
The effectiveness of yohimbine hydrochloride for each of these benefits or purposes has been studied by researchers, and the results of these studies have been mixed.
Evidence shows that yohimbine hydrochloride is effective in the treatment of sexual dysfunction associated with SSRIs, but researchers have not yet been able to find evidence that yohimbine can improve exercise performance.
It is important to note that Yohimbe and yohimbine are related but does not mean the same thing. Yohimbe is used when referring to the tree or its bark, and Yohimbine is a specific alkaloid constituent of Yohimbe.
According to studies, Yohimbe bark contains 6% alkaloids, and more than 15% of these alkaloids are yohimbine.
Yohimbine HCL is an alpha-2 adrenoceptor antagonist and can be found in a variety of locations throughout the central and peripheral nervous system.
This allows the supplement to affect the body in a number of ways.
Yohimbine HCL can give the following results:
- increases noradrenaline release,
- inhibits platelet coagulation,
- works as an anti-diuretic,
- increases the release of norepinephrine,
- dilates the blood vessels in the genitals and
- increases reflex excitability in the sacral region of the spinal cord.
Safety of Yohimbine Hydrochloride
Yohimbine HCL carries some potentially severe side effects and is regulated as a prescription drug in North America. Research has shown that this drug can be used safely for up to 10 weeks if used under the supervision of a medical expert.
Potential side effects reported for this drug include seizure, myocardial infarction, agitation and cardiac arrhythmia.
Dangers of Yohimbe Extract
Yohimbe is an evergreen tree native to West Africa, and the bark contains an active chemical called yohimbine, which is responsible for its effects.
Yohimbe is a nervous system stimulant, and the extract is used for athletic performance, weight loss, and exhaustion, according to a report by MedlinePlus. Yohimbe hydrochloride (HCL) is a standardized form of yohimbine, used to treat erectile dysfunction, and is available as a supplement and by prescription.
Yohimbe may increase heart rate, and users are advised to avoid taking Yohimbe if they have existing cardiovascular issues. Doses below 40mg per day can cause an increase in blood pressure, while doses above 40mg can cause a severe drop in blood pressure.
Information according to the American Cancer Society, reported that Yohimbe has been linked to heart attacks and deaths.
Yohimbe can be dangerous if you have certain medical conditions and can trigger or worsen panic attacks, anxiety and psychotic episodes in people with existing psychiatric conditions.
Yohimbe may also worsen existing kidney and liver problems, and even if you are free of medical conditions and take normal doses, dizziness, anxiety, over-stimulation, and nausea can occur.
Yohimbe may interact dangerously with certain medications, according to a report from the American Cancer Society. Thus, users are advised to avoid Yohimbe if they take antidepressants, antipsychotics, methadone or opioid pain medication.
Yohimbe may interact with certain nausea medications as well, and it is possible for Yohimbe to interact dangerously with medications not listed in this article.
Make sure to consult your doctor if you are currently taking prescribed medication and are considering taking Yohimbe.
Danger to Women
Yohimbe is also taken by women as a sexual stimulant, since blood vessel dilation causes blood to flow to the genitalia, increasing the area’s sensitivity.
However, women who are pregnant should stay away from Yohimbe as it could, relax the uterus and be toxic to the fetus. Breastfeeding mothers should also stay away from the product as it is toxic to infants. This information is according to the National Library of Medicine.
How to Use Yohimbine HCL Safely
Yohimbine HCL is typically consumed orally, and users should take this supplement as directed by their doctors and in the smallest effective dosage possible.
Patients who are taking this supplement should avoid consumption of foods containing vasopressors, such as chocolate, cola, tea, coffee and overripe fava beans.
Consumption of foods that contain tyramine, including red wine, fermented meat, and aged cheese, should also be limited.
Yohimbine HCL may be dangerous for people who are planning to have surgery. The drug can also be unsafe for people who suffer from any of the following conditions:
- Kidney disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Liver disease
- Bleeding conditions
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia
- Heart disease, and
Safe Dosages of Yohimbine HCL
The best way to prevent dangerous effects from using Yohimbine is to follow dosage guidelines closely since severe adverse effects are associated with the excess use of this supplement or with combining it with other compounds that result in interactions.
The recommended dosage of yohimbine HCL depends on the patient’s intended usage, and a medical expert should be consulted before using this herbal extract.
These medical experts, like your doctor, can help you decide whether Yohimbine HCL is safe or dangerous for you, and they can also help you choose a safe dosage for your body type.