Introduction: Phytochemicals have garnered much attention because they are useful in managing several human diseases. Yohimbine is one such phytochemical with significant pharmacological potential and could be exploited for research by medicinal chemists. It is an indole alkaloid obtained from various natural/synthetic sources.
Aims and Results: The research on yohimbine started early, and its use as a stimulant and aphrodisiac by humans has been reported for a long time. The pharmacological activity of yohimbine is mediated by the combined action of the central and peripheral nervous systems. It selectively blocks the pre and postsynaptic α 2-adrenergic receptors and has a moderate affinity for α1 and α2 subtypes. Yohimbine also binds to other behaviourally relevant monoaminergic receptors in the following order: α-2 NE > 5HT-1A>, 5HT-1B > 1-D > D3 > D2 receptors.
Conclusion: The current review highlights some significant findings that contribute to developing yohimbine-based drugs. It also highlights the therapeutic potential of yohimbine against selected human diseases. However, further research is recommended on the pharmacokinetics, molecular mechanisms, and drug safety requirements using well-designed randomized clinical trials to produce yohimbine as a pharmaceutical agent for human use.
Yohimbine is a natural indole alkaloid with significant pharmacological potential.
Humans have used it as a stimulant and aphrodisiac from a relatively early time.
It blocks the pre- and postsynaptic α2-adrenergic receptors that could be exploited for managing erectile dysfunction, myocardial dysfunction, inflammatory disorders, and cancer.