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Yohimbine is a reversal agent used in dogs, cats and horses to antagonize the effects of xylazine.

What is Yohimbine?

Yohimbine is a veterinary medication. It is an alpha2-adrenergic antagonist used primarily to reverse the signs of sedation caused by alpha2-agonists such as xylazine or detomidine. 

Yohimbine may be efficacious in reversing some of the toxic effects associated with other agents as well, such as amitraz and can be used preventatively before amitraz dips. 

What is Yohimbine Used for in Dogs, Cats and Horses?

Yohimbine is indicated to reverse the effects of xylazine in dogs, but it is also used clinically against other agents and in other species as well.

In clinical practice, by the time reversal is necessary, sedative drug concentrations may have decreased so a full dose of Yohimbine may not be needed as it may cause excitement of the central nervous system and other adverse events.

Yohimbine is not a therapeutic drug for any disease so it is not recommended to be used alone for it increases heart rate, blood pressure, causes stimulation of the central nervous system, and suppression of excreting urine along with increasing levels of insulin in the bloodstream. 

Yohimbine can increase gastrointestinal tract noises in horses and prevent vomiting in cats.

Yohimbine administration requires direct supervision by a professional.

Yohimbine Side Effects in Dogs, Cats and Horses

While generally safe and effective when given by a veterinarian, adverse effects of Yohimbine are more likely to present in small animals and horses.

Common Side Effects 

  • Excitement
  • Increased pulse
  • Raised blood pressure
  • Increased rate of breathing
  • Salivation
  • Increased blood flow to the mucous membranes

Less Common Side Effects

  • Tremors
  • Seizures

If you notice any of these Yohimbine side effects in dogs, cats or horses, contact your veterinarian right away. If you suspect an allergic reaction, seek immediate medical attention for your animal.

Yohimbine Precautions

Yohimbine may not be the best treatment for all veterinary patients.

Who Should Not Use Yohimbine?

  • Patients with hypersensitivity to it
  • Caution when used in patients with seizure disorders or renal disease

Are There Any Drug Interactions with Yohimbine?

Be cautious if using Yohimbine with other alpha2-adrenergic antagonists or other drugs that can cause central nervous system stimulation.

Reduced effectiveness of medication used to lower blood pressure (ACE inhibitors, channel blockers, hydralazine) has been noted.

Hypertension has been reported with tricyclics (amitriptyline, clomipramine, doxepin, impramine, nortriptyline). 

Are There Any Risk Factors Associated with This Medication?

With supervised administration and monitoring during use, Yohimbine is a safe and effective way to reverse sedation and the effects of anesthesia.

Monitoring of the animal’s arousal state, heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure and breathing rate is recommended during the use of Yohimbine.

Yohimbine can bring about a number of responses in horses. An extended wait time before the animal participates in athletic events may be necessary.

Talk to your veterinarian if you notice any side effect that seems unusual or bothersome to the animal.


Yohimbine injectable is best stored at room temperature. It should be in a tightly sealed container and protected from light and heat.

Medications should not be ingested by humans. In locations with children, a childproof container kept out of reach is highly recommended. If a human accidentally swallows this medication, call your doctor right away.


This medication requires direct monitoring during administration.

Checking the animal’s level of sedation, along with tracking pulse, heart rhythm, blood pressure, and respiratory rate is advised. 

A full dose of Yohimbine may not be required. Instead, initial administration of one third of the recommended dose of Yohimbine followed by (as needed) the same amount in 5-to-10-minute intervals, may be practiced.

Store Yohimbine at room temperature away from heat and light.

Timeline Tips

  • Yohimbine should only be used when under direct professional supervision.

Yohimbine for Dogs and Cats Dosage

For dogs and cats, the recommended dose is 0.11mg/kg IV or 0.25-0.5mg/kg SQ or IM.

Stanozolol for Horses Dosage 

For horses, the recommended dose is 0.125mg/kg IV for xylazine reversal and 0.2mg/kg IV to reverse detomidine.

It may not be not be necessary to initially administer a full dose of Yohimbine. Refer to the Instructions Tab for full details.

Client Information

Yohimbine should be used with direct professional supervision only.

Yohimbine Overdose 

High doses can cause muscle tremors and seizures.

Yohimbine is not recommended to be used alone as it can produce a variety of undesirable events.


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