European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience

, Volume 241, Issue 6, pp 337–344

Anxiogenic properties of yohimbine

I. Behavioral, physiological and biochemical measures
  • Margot Albus
  • Theodore P. Zahn
  • Alan Breier
Original Articles

DOI: 10.1007/BF02191958

Cite this article as:
Albus, M., Zahn, T.P. & Breier, A. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Nuerosci (1992) 241: 337. doi:10.1007/BF02191958


The anxiogenic effects of yohimbine, a specific alpha-2-receptor antagonist were examined by administering 20 mg yohimbine orally to 8 panic patients on placebo treatment, 7 panic patients on alprazolam treatment and 12 controls using a double-blind randomized design, instructions that minimized the expectancy of experiencing a panic attack and two additional structured situations. Yohimbine induced more pronounced increases in anxiety and panicky ratings, norepinephrine secretion, maximum heart rate and high heart rate variability and decreases in skin temperature in panic patients compared with controls. However, possibly owing to an instructional set and experimental, design that distracted patients from unpleasant bodily sensations no panic attacks were observed.

Key words

CortisolElectrodermal activityHeart rateNorepinephrinePanic disorderYohimbine

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margot Albus
    • 1
  • Theodore P. Zahn
    • 2
  • Alan Breier
    • 3
  1. 1.Mental State HospitalHaarFederal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.Laboratory of Psychology and PsychopathologyNational Institute of Mental HealthBethesda
  3. 3.Maryland Psychiatric Research CenterBaltimore