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How different are yohimbe supplements from prescription drugs for erectile dysfunction (ED)?

ANSWER

Yohimbe bark extract isn't the same as yohimbine hydrochloride, the prescription treatment for impotence that's been around since the 1930s. So you can't take it instead of the medication, or expect that it will work the same way.

Prescription drugs are strictly regulated by the FDA around testing and labeling, and they have to approved before they can be sold. But supplements don't have the same requirements, and they don't need FDA approval before you can buy them. The companies that make and sell them are responsible for their safety and truthful labeling.

Researchers analyzed several yohimbe supplements and found that the amount of the key compound, yohimbine, was less than it would be in the tree's bark. They also found that many of the products had things that aren't normally in yohimbe bark.

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "Yohimbe."

European Food Safety Authority. EFSA Journal, July 24, 2013.

MedlinePlus Drugs & Supplements: "Yohimbe bark extract."

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Yohimbe."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on March 6, 2020

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "Yohimbe."

European Food Safety Authority. EFSA Journal, July 24, 2013.

MedlinePlus Drugs & Supplements: "Yohimbe bark extract."

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Yohimbe."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on March 6, 2020

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How safe are yohimbe supplements?

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