Yohimbe refers to the bark obtained from a West African evergreen tree, which traditionally has been used for sexual disorders and as an aphrodisiac. Yohimbine is one the major chemicals present in yohimbe.
Limited studies have evaluated the effectiveness and safety of yohimbe for sexual disorders. Some studies indicate that yohimbe may be beneficial for erectile dysfunction in men and decreased libido in women. However, it has many serious side effects, including severely decreased blood pressure, abnormalities of heart rhythm (arrhythmias), heart failure, and death. Other side effects include insomnia, anxiety, tremor, high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, headache, nausea, and vomiting. The FDA has determined that yohimbe is not safe or effective and that it should not be available for over-the-counter use. Yohimbine, the active ingredient in yohimbe, is available by prescription in the United States.
People with MS may experience sexual disorders, including difficulties with erections and decreased libido. These sexual problems should be evaluated and treated by a physician or other health care professional. Yohimbine should only be used with physician supervision. For erectile dysfunction, conventional medical medications are safer and more effective than yohimbe or yohimbine.
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