Yohimbine Safety – What Does The Science Say?

"Yohimbine is an energizing and metabolism-boosting supplement derived from the Yohimbe tree. It is known for its perceived effects in boosting energy and assisting in fat burning. It is often used as an aphrodisiac because of its effects on enhancing vitality.[1] Clinical studies have found that, as a supplement, Yohimbine is generally well-tolerated. [2] The recommended serving size is one to two servings of 4 mg, taken once to twice daily. However, many people are able to experience benefits at much lower serving sizes. It is recommended starting with 2 mg to assess how your body responds. At this amount, the benefits of Yohimbine generally outweigh the mild side effects experienced by some participants.[3] When taken at larger servings, however, Yohimbine presents a number of concerning side effects. Not only this, but it has been found to potentially interact with numerous medications. As a result, it is important that anybody using Yohimbine be aware of the potential adverse effects associated with it.

Yohimbine side effects

When used at the recommended serving size, it is unusual to experience adverse effects. In 2010, a retrospective review, some of the most common adverse effects experienced included; an upset stomach, sleep disturbances, increased blood pressure, dizziness, irritability and headaches.[4][5] These side effects are generally experienced when the recommended serving size of Yohimbine is exceeded. As with all supplements, there is also a rare chance of experiencing an allergic reaction. It is important when taking any supplement that you familiarise yourself with the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction. It’s important to remember that many people are able to use Yohimbine without experiencing any negative effects. The most important factor is to not exceed the recommended serving size and to always use the lowest possible serving that allows you to feel the desired effects. Research suggests that when used at the correct serving size, Yohimbine confers more benefits than side effects. Again, the most important factor determining the risk of negative effects is the serving size. Using the correct serving size reduces the chances of side effects.

Yohimbine Safety Concerns 

There are two complicating factors when reviewing Yohimbine for safety: First, the quantity of Yohimbine in any given supplement is not always as listed on the supplement facts panel and the actual amount of Yohimbine in supplements may vary dramatically. In a study that tested 49 brands of dietary supplements that listed Yohimbine as an ingredient, 78% of the brands did not list the amount of Yohimbine in their supplement blend. Those that were labelled often showed inaccurate amounts (actual content ranged from 23% to 147% of the labelled content).[6] Secondly, supplement brands often sell Yohimbine as a ‘stack’ – often in combination with other energizing or stimulating supplements. Yohimbine may have numerous interactions with other substances, and ‘stacking’ this supplement can be dangerous to your health if it is not done properly.

Yohimbine interactions:

Yohimbine interacts with many different substances and medications. Interactions of special importance include taking Yohimbine with mood enhancing medication, blood pressure medication and stimulants (including caffeine). Stimulants natually make you feel energized and more awake. Yohimbine is a powerful energizing supplement and combining it with these types of substances can over-stimulate you. [7] Yohimbine is incredibly potent and overusing Yohimbine can be seriously harmful to your health. If you have any existing medical issues, it is very important that you speak to your doctor before using Yohimbine or supplements that contain Yohimbine. Even though Yohimbine is of natural origins and is classified as a dietary supplement, it is nevertheless extremely powerful and needs to be used responsibly. Exceeding the recommended serving size can be incredibly dangerous. Always read and adhere to the recommenced serving size.

Bottom Line 

  • Do not use Yohimbine if you are taking any medication
  • Do not take Yohimbine if you have any underlying medical condition
Although this article may seem to shed a negative light on Yohimbine’s safety, the general consensus is that, when used correctly, the benefits outweigh the potential negative effects, Around the world, many people are able to use this supplement within the correct serving range, to their benefit.[8]  While information on Yohimbine’s potential side effects is readily available on the internet, it is possible that many people may not think to go out and research the supplement before using it – which is why we’ve published this article! If you know anybody who is thinking about taking Yohimbine, please share this article with them! The more people are informed, the less likely it is that they will experience negative effects.


[1] Patel, K. (2018). Yohimbine. Examine.com [online] Available at https://examine.com/supplements/yohimbine/ [2] Ostojic, S. (2006). Yohimbine: the effects on body composition and exercise performance in soccer players. Res Sports Med, 14(4):289-99. [3] Vogt, H.J., Brandl, P., Kockott, G., Schmitz, J.R., Wiegand, M.H., Schadrack, J., Gierend, M. (1997). Double-blind, placebo-controlled safety and efficacy trial with yohimbine hydrochloride in the treatment of nonorganic erectile dysfunction. Int J Impot Res, 9(3):155-61. [4] Yohimbe. (2018). WebMD.com [online] Available at:  https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-759/yohimbe [5] Kearney, T., Tu, N., Haller, C. (2010). Adverse Drug Events Associated with Yohimbine-Containing Products: A Retrospective Review of the California Poison Control System Reported Cases. Annals of Pharmacotherapy 44(6), 1022–1029. [6] Cohen, P. A., Wang, Y.-H., Maller, G., DeSouza, R., Khan, I. A. (2015). Pharmaceutical quantities of yohimbine found in dietary supplements in the USA. Drug Testing and Analysis, 8(3-4), 357–369. [7] Horn, J.R., Hansten, P.D. (2012). Yohimbine: Old Drug with New Interactions. Pharmacytimes.com [online] Available at: https://www.pharmacytimes.com/publications/issue/2012/july2012/yohimbine-old-drug-with-new-interactions [12] Charney, D.S., Heninger, G.R., Breier, A. (1984). Noradrenergic function in panic anxiety. Effects of yohimbine in healthy subjects and patients with agoraphobia and panic disorder. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 41(8):751-63. [8] Yohimbine - Very underrated nootropic or am I missing something? (2018). Reddit.com [online] Available at: https://www.reddit.com/r/Nootropics/comments/8m1f27/yohimbine_very_underrated_nootropic_or_am_i/  "

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