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Yohimbine is a compound extracted from the alkaloid-containing plant Pausinystalia yohimbe, and is sometimes used as a treatment for erectile dysfunction. The typical yohimbine dosage ranges from 15 to 30 mg, usually split into multiple doses throughout the day. The drug can cause a number of potentially serious side effects, including heart arrhythmia and high blood pressure.
The bark of Pausinystalia yohimbe contains the alkaloid chemical compound known as yohimbine. Before it can be prescribed as medication for erectile dysfunction, yohimbe bark extract is processed and its active chemical extracted. The drug contains a standardized dose of the compound. Other uses of the plant include distilling the bark extract to create a herbal remedy that is typically available over-the-counter and commonly used for its alleged aphrodisiac qualities. Yohimbe bark extract can be used to combat the libido decline sometimes experienced by people on antidepressants, or to boost weight loss.
Erectile dysfunction is characterized by the repeated inability to develop or maintain an erection for the purposes of sexual activity. There are a number of potential causes for erectile dysfunction and these can include psychological issues, such as anxiety or depression; neurological disorders; and medication side effects. Erectile dysfunction is more common in men over 50 years of age, who may be at higher risk for the disorder because of other factors, like obesity, diabetes, or cardiovascular conditions. There are a wide array of treatment options for erectile dysfunction. Taking yohimbine typically increases blood flow to the penis and this may help a sufferer to obtain and maintain an erection.
The drug typically works within 14 to 21 days of the start of therapy. Taking yohimbine isn’t always successful in improving the symptoms of erectile dysfunction, and medical studies indicate the compound may be effective for up to 45% of men who use it for that purpose. There are no clear yohimbine dosage guidelines. The drug can be taken in doses of up to 100 mg daily, but doses higher than 30 mg are associated with an increased risk for side effects, without providing better symptom control. A typical starting yohimbine dosage for erectile dysfunction may be 5.4 to 6 mg, three times a day.
Concomitant use of yohimbine, or yohimbe bark extract, with a type of antidepressant medications known as monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOIs) drugs or with nervous system stimulants — such as pseudoephedrine or epinephrine — may lead to severe side effects and should be avoided. Patients taking medications for hypertension and suffering from erectile dysfunction should generally start with a lower than usual yohimbine dosage, as the compound can cause high blood pressure at typical doses, especially in susceptible individuals. Those suffering from hypertension, or other forms of cardiovascular disease, may benefit from an initial yohimbine dosage as low as 5 mg per day. The drug has been linked to a number of possible side effects, including nausea, dizziness, and tremors.
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