Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Effectiveness of yohimbine in the treatment of erectile disorder: Four meta-analytic integrations


The results of four independent yet convergent meta-analyses to examine the efficacy of yohimbine in the treatment of erectile disorder are reported. These meta-analyses integrated data from (i) controlled clinical trials of yohimbine (when used alone), (ii) uncontrolled trials examining yohimbine (alone), (iii) controlled trials of yohimbine when used in combination with other drugs, and (iv) uncontrolled trials of yohimbine plus other drugs. Results document a consistent tendency for yohimbine, and for other medications containing yohimbine, to enhance erectile functioning relative to placebo. We also identify methodological and reporting difficulties that characterize much of the literature.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. American Psychiatric Association. (1994).Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed., American Psychiatric Association, Washington, DC.

  2. Barnes, D. M. (1986). Promising results halt trial of anti-AIDS drug.Science 234: 15–16.

  3. Carey, M. P., Lantinga, L. J., and Krauss, D. J. (1994). Male erectile disorder. In Ammerman, R. T., and Hersen, M. (eds.),Handbook of Prescriptive Treatments for Adults, Plenum Press, New York, pp. 347–367.

  4. Centers for Disease Control Veteran Experience Study. (1988). Health status of Vietnam veterans: I. Psychosocial characteristics.J. Am. Med. Assoc. 259: 2701–2707.

  5. Cooper, A. J., Smith, C. G., Ismail, A. A. A., and Loraine, J. A. (1973). A controlled trial of Potensan Forte (“Aphrodisiac” and testosterone combined) in impotence.Irish J. Med. Sci., 142: 155–161.

  6. Friesen, K., Palatnick, W., and Tenenbein, M. (1993). Benign course after massive ingestion of Yohimbine.J. Emerg. Med. 11: 287–288.

  7. Greenwald, A. G., Spangenberg, E. R., Pratkanis, A. R., and Eskenazi, J. (1991). Double blind tests of subliminal self-help audiotapes.Psychol. Sci. 2: 119–122.

  8. Haslam, M. T. (1992). A trial of idazoxan and yohimbine in sexual dysfunction.Sex. Marital Ther. 7: 261–266.

  9. Hedges, L. V., and Olkin, I. (1985).Statistical Methods for Meta-Analysis, Academic Press, Orlando, FL.

  10. Hollander, E., and McCarley, A. (1992). Yohimbine treatment of sexual side effects induced by serotonin reuptake blockers.J. Clin. Psychiat., 53: 207–209.

  11. Jacobsen, F. M. (1992). Fluoxetine-induced sexual dysfunction and an open trial of Yohimbine.J. Clin. Psychiat. 53: 119–122.

  12. Johnson, B. T. (1993).DSTAT 1.10: Software for the Meta-Analytic Review of Research Literatures, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ.

  13. Johnson, B. T., and Turco, R. M. (1992). The value of goodness-of-fit indices in meta-analysis: A comment on Hall and Rosenthal.Commun. Monogr. 59: 388–396.

  14. Kinsey, A. C., Pomeroy, W. B., and Martin, C. E. (1948).Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, W. B. Saunders, Philadelphia, PA.

  15. Krane, R. J., Goldstein, I., and Sanenz de Tejada, I. (1989). Impotence.New Engl. J. Med. 321: 1648–1659.

  16. Macfarlane, C. A., Reynolds, W. J., and Rosencrantz, D. R. (1983). Yohimbine—An alternative treatment for erectile dysfunction.Wkly. Urol. Clin. Lett., 27: 1.

  17. Malloy, T. R., and Malkowicz, B. (1987). Pharmacologic treatment of impotence.Curr. Med. Ther. Urol. Dis. 14: 297–305.

  18. Margolis, R., and Leslie, C. H. (1966). Review of studies on a mixture of nux vomica, Yohimbine and methyl testosterone in the treatment of impotence.Curr. Ther. Res. 8: 280–284.

  19. Margolis, R., Sangree, H., Prieto, P., Stein, L., and Chinn, S. (1967). Clinical studies on the use of Afrodex in the treatment of impotence: Statistical summary of 4000 cases.Curr. Ther. Res. 9: 213–219.

  20. Margolis, R., Prieto, P., Stein, L., and Chinn, S. (1971). Statistical summary of 10,000 male cases using Afrodex in the treatment of impotence.Curr. Ther. Res. 13: 616–622.

  21. Miller, W. W., Jr. (1968). Afrodex in the treatment of male impotence: A double-blind cross-over study.Curr. Ther. Res., 10: 354–359.

  22. Morales, A., Condra, M., Owen, J. A., Surridge, D. H., Fenemore, J., and Harris C., (1987). Is Yohimbine effective in the treatment of organic impotence? Results of a controlled trial.J. Urol. 137: 1168–1172.

  23. Morales, A., Surridge, D. H., Marshall, P. G., and Fenemore, J. (1982). Nonhormonal pharmacological treatment of organic impotence?J. Urol. 128: 45–47.

  24. National Institutes of Health. (1993). Consensus conference on impotence: Final statement.Int. J. Impotence Res. 5: 181–199.

  25. Pollack, M. H., and Hammerness, P. (1993). Adjunctive Yohimbine for treatment in refractory depression.Biol. Psychiat. 33: 220–221.

  26. Price, J., & Grunhaus, L. J. (1990). Treatment of clomipramine-induced anorgasmia with yohimbine: A case report.J. Clin. Psychiat. 51: 32–33.

  27. Quadraccia, A., Salvini, A., Cordani, C., and Pizzi, P. (1988). Yohimbine plus intracavernous vasodilators in mild vasculogenic impotence.Acta Urol. Belg. 56: 272–278.

  28. Reid, K., Surridge, D. H. C., Morales, A., Condra, M., Harris, C., Owen, J., and Fenemore, J. (1987). Double-blind trial of yohimbine in treatment of psychogenic impotence.Lancet 2: 421–423.

  29. Riley, A. J., Goodman, R. E., Kellett, J. M., and Orr, R. (1989). Double blind trial of yohimbine hydrochloride in the treatment of erection inadequacy.Sex. Marital Ther. 4: 17–26.

  30. Roberts, C. D., and Sloboda, W. (1974). Afrodex vs. placebo in the treatment of male impotence: Statistical analysis of two double-blind crossover studies.Curr. Ther. Res. 16: 96–99.

  31. Rosen, R. C., and Ashton, A. K. (1993). Prosexual drugs: Empirical status of the “New Aphrodisiacs.”Arch. Sex. Behav. 22: 521–543.

  32. Sandler, B., and Aronson, P. (1993). Yohimbine-induced cutaneous drug eruption, progressive renal failure, and lupus-like syndrome.Urology 41: 343–345.

  33. Savion, M., Segenreich, E., Kahan, E., and Servadio, C. (1987). Pharmacologic, nonhormonal treatment of impotence: Evaluation of associated factors.Urology 29: 510–512.

  34. Segraves, R. T., Knopf, J., and Camic, P. (1982). Spontaneous remission in erectile impotence.Behav. Res. Ther. 20: 89–91.

  35. Smith, M. L., and Glass, G. C. (1977). Meta-analysis of psychotherapy outcome studies.Am Psychol. 32: 752–760.

  36. Sobotka, J. J. (1969). An evaluation of Afrodex in the management of male impotency: A double-blind crossover study.Curr. Ther. Res. 11: 87–94.

  37. Sonda, L. P., Mazo, R., and Chancellor, M. B. (1990). The role of Yohimbine for the treatment of erectile impotence.J. Sex. Marital Ther. 16: 15–21.

  38. Spector, I. P., and Carey, M. P. (1990). Incidence and prevalence of the sexual dysfunctions: A critical review of the literature.Arch. Sex. Behav. 19: 389–408.

  39. Steering Committee of the Physicians Health Study Research Group. (1988). Preliminary report: Findings from the aspirin component of the ongoing physicians' health study.New Engl. J. Med. 318: 262–264.

  40. Susset, J. G., Tessier, C. D., Wincze, J., Bansal, S.,Malhotra, C., and Schwacha, M. G. (1989). Effect of Yohimbine hydrochloride on erectile impotence: A double-blind study.J. Urol. 141: 1360–1363.

  41. Vickers, M. A., Jr., de Nobrega, A. M., and Dluhy, R. G. (1993). Diagnosis and treatment of psychogenic erectile dysfunction in a urological setting: Outcomes of 18 consecutive patient.J. Urol. 149: 1258–1261.

  42. Wolpowitz, A., and Barnard, C. N. (1978). Impotence after heart transplantation [letter].S. Afr. Med. J. 53: 693.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Michael P. Carey Ph.D..

Additional information

Supported in part by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and Palisades Pharmaceuticals to Michael P. Carey.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Carey, M.P., Johnson, B.T. Effectiveness of yohimbine in the treatment of erectile disorder: Four meta-analytic integrations. Arch Sex Behav 25, 341–360 (1996).

Download citation

Key Words

  • yohimbine
  • erectile disorder
  • impotence
  • treatment
  • meta-analysis