Yohimbine treatment of sexual side effects induced by serotonin reuptake blockers

J Clin Psychiatry. 1992 Jun;53(6):207-9.


Background: Preclinical and clinical studies suggest that yohimbine facilitates sexual behavior and may be helpful in the treatment of male impotence. A single case report suggests that yohimbine may be used to treat the sexual side effects of clomipramine. This study evaluated yohimbine as a treatment for the sexual side effects caused by serotonin reuptake blockers.

Method: Six patients with either obsessive compulsive disorder, trichotillomania, anxiety, or affective disorders who suffered sexual side effects after treatment with serotonin reuptake blockers were given yohimbine on a p.r.n. basis in an open clinical trial. Various doses of yohimbine were used to determine the ideal dose for each patient.

Results: Five of the six patients experienced improved sexual functioning after taking yohimbine. One patient who failed to comply with yohimbine treatment had no therapeutic effects. Side effects of yohimbine included excessive sweating, increased anxiety, and a wound-up feeling in some patients.

Conclusion: The results of this study indicate that yohimbine may be an effective treatment for the sexual side effects caused by serotonin reuptake blockers. Future controlled studies are needed to further investigate the effectiveness and safety of yohimbine for this indication.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clomipramine / adverse effects
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Fluoxetine / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurotransmitter Uptake Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Serotonin / physiology*
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / chemically induced*
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / drug therapy
  • Yohimbine / administration & dosage
  • Yohimbine / adverse effects
  • Yohimbine / therapeutic use*


  • Neurotransmitter Uptake Inhibitors
  • Fluoxetine
  • Yohimbine
  • Serotonin
  • Clomipramine