Anxiogenic properties of yohimbine - I. Behavioral, physiological and biochemical measures

Margot Albus, Theodore P. Zahn, Alan Breier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-344
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 1 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Cortisol
  • Electrodermal activity
  • Heart rate
  • Norepinephrine
  • Panic disorder
  • Yohimbine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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