Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 12/22/2022
Wondering about yohimbine for erectile dysfunction? You’re not alone.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) can be a real downer — quite literally. From knocking your confidence to disrupting your intimate relationships, sexual function issues can seriously impact your life.
Because of this, men dealing with erectile function issues may want to explore treatment options as soon as possible to revive their sexual performance.
There are many options people turn to for the treatment of impotence, including dietary supplements. In particular, some believe yohimbine can help with ED.
Keep reading to learn more about this herbal supplement for the treatment of erectile dysfunction — including the effectiveness of yohimbine in erectile dysfunction and whether there are any adverse effects.
Yohimbine comes from the yohimbe tree, an evergreen tree found in Central and Western Africa. The compound yohimbine can be found within the tree’s bark.
Sometimes referred to as yohimbe supplements, it’s used for issues related to sexual function (specifically organic erectile dysfunction), weight loss, athletic performance, high blood pressure and angina.
However, you should know it’s actually illegal in the United States to market over-the-counter yohimbine as a treatment for ED.
In addition to this, there’s a standardized form of yohimbine in the U.S. called yohimbine hydrochloride. It requires a prescription and is a very different formulation than the yohimbe supplements you can purchase online or over the counter.
When it comes to the effectiveness of yohimbine on the various things people believe it can treat, there aren’t a ton of studies to support any of this.
Yohimbine for erectile dysfunction may be thought to be helpful — but does it really do anything? Honestly, there’s not a ton of research to support this claim. And the research that does exist is pretty small.
One study looked at 18 men with organic erectile dysfunction. When taking yohimbine, half were able to complete sexual intercourse in more than 75 percent of attempts. In other words, yohimbine did seem to help some men. But again, it was a very small study.
In a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials, seven trials were determined to be fit for inclusion. While yohimbine has been found to be more beneficial than a placebo, there have not been enough scientifically rigorous studies to truly say that it effectively treats ED.
Thinking of taking this herbal supplement to try and improve erectile function? It’s crucial to understand the right yohimbine dosage for erectile dysfunction.
Here’s the problem: There’s no suggested dosage for yohimbine.
One option is to look at the label of whatever supplement you purchase. But an even better idea is to speak with a healthcare professional.
They’ll be able to advise you on whether it’s a good idea to take yohimbine or if something else may work better for you. This is an important step because introducing any new prescription drug or supplement can interact poorly with other medications you may be on.
In addition to potential drug interactions, a healthcare professional can keep an eye out for an allergic reaction.
If it’s determined that this supplement is something you should try, your provider will be able to help with what dose of yohimbine to take.
Here’s something very important to know: Many think taking yohimbine for erectile dysfunction has a good deal of risk associated with it.
Case in point: Yohimbe has been linked to heart attacks and seizures. Other severe side effects include stomach issues, rapid heartbeat (also called tachycardia), anxiety and high blood pressure.
It’s thought that the higher the dose, the more dangerous yohimbine becomes. It can also interact poorly with a variety of other medications.
For example, someone taking a type of antidepressant called monoamine oxidase inhibitors should not take yohimbine. It’s also suggested that people with kidney issues, heart disease and psychiatric conditions should stay away from this supplement.
Given all the risks associated with taking yohimbine for erectile dysfunction and the iffy proof of the efficacy of yohimbine, a healthcare professional may not recommend you take this medication.
Instead, they might suggest one of many other effective ED treatments. Here are a few they may bring up.
You don’t have to go the herbal supplement route. Beyond alternative treatments, there are many prescription medications that have been shown to improve symptoms of ED.
Sildenafil. The generic version of Viagra®,sildenafil is in a class of medications called phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE5 inhibitors). It works by relaxing the muscles in the penis, helping to improve blood flow to the penis during sex. This medication works quickly — like within 30 minutes of taking it.
Tadalafil.Tadalafil (and the brand name Cialis®) is another PDE5 inhibitor used for ED. It can last up to 36 hours — which is why some call it the weekend ED medication.
Vardenafil. Levitra® (and the generic vardenafil) works within 30 to 60 minutes of taking it. In a clinical trial, 75 percent of men said they got an erection that was hard enough for sex after using a 10-milligram dose, while 80 percent said the same after taking 20 milligrams.
Avanafil. Both the generic avanafil and the brand name Stendra® are PDE5 inhibitors. They’re popular with some because they work after 15 minutes and may have fewer side effects.
There are a few technologies that can help treat ED, such as vibrators, external support devices and implants.
A vibrator can help stimulate you so blood flows to your penis. A penis pump creates suction and pulls blood into the penis. Then you place a ring at the base of the penis to keep the blood there. Penile implants are also an option but require surgery.
Finally, there’s something called the Erektor®, a rod-like external device with two rings. The penis goes through the rings, and the rod adds rigidity for sex.
Research has found that 10 to 20 percent of ED cases are caused by psychological issues. More specifically, depression and anxiety are common culprits.
Seeking therapy may help with depression and anxiety, therefore easing ED. Another benefit of therapy is that you can discuss how your ED has affected your life and ways to move forward.
However you choose to address your ED, know this: there are many current treatment options you can try.
If you’re heavily considering yohimbine as a treatment of impotence, you should definitely talk to a healthcare professional first, as there are a number of risks associated with it.
Hims offers online consultations to help you determine the best ED treatment. Get started today.