Horny Goat Weed

Reviewed on 3/16/2022

What Is Horny Goat Weed and How Does It Work?

Horny Goat Weed is an herbal supplement that can be used for erectile dysfunction, sexual dysfunction (male or female) and menopausal symptoms. Although more research is need with regard to its efficacy, horny goat weed can also be used for weak back and knees, joint pain, osteoarthritis, mental and physical fatigue, memory loss, high blood pressure, heart disease, bronchitis, liver disease, HIV/AIDS, polio, chronic leucopenia, viral infections of the heart, bone loss after menopause, weak bones (osteoporosis), and as a tonic.

  • Controversial studies in China suggests a component, icariin has estrogenic and antioxidant properties; may contain other pharmacoactive compounds.
  • Present in many commercially available supplements.
  • Horny Goat Weed is available under the following different brand names: Epimedium spp, Herba edimedii, Icariin, Inyokaku, Yin Yang Hou.

What Are Dosages of Horny Goat Weed?

Dosages of Horny Goat Weed:
  • 2 caps (1,000 mg, may vary with manufacturer) orally per day
  • 3-4 caps orally 90 minutes before sexual activity
  • May also be taken as a tea
  • Preventing osteoporosis: a specific phytoestrogen extract of peimedium containing 60 mg icariin, 15 mg daidzein, and 3 mg genistein, along with 300 mg of elemental calcium orally per day
Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows:
  • None

What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Horny Goat Weed?

Side effects of Horny Goat Weed include:

This document does not contain all possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.

What Other Drugs Interact with Horny Goat Weed?

If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider, or pharmacist first.

Horny Goat Weed has no known severe interactions with other drugs.

Horny Goat Weed has no known serious interactions with other drugs.

Horny goat weed has moderate interactions with at least 26 different drugs.

Horny Goat Weed has no known mild interactions with other drugs.

This information does not contain all possible interactions or adverse effects. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share this information with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your health care professional or doctor for additional medical advice, or if you have health questions, concerns, or for more information about this medicine.

What Are Warnings and Precautions for Horny Goat Weed?



This medication contains horny goat weed. Do not take Epimedium spp, Herba edimedii, Icariin, Inyokaku, Yin Yang Hou if you are allergic to horny goat weed or any ingredients contained in this drug.

Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center immediately.


  • Pregnancy, lactation

Effects of Drug Abuse

  • No information available

Short-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Horny Goat Weed?"

Long-Term Effects

  • Long-term use of other forms of horny goat weed might cause dizziness, vomiting, dry mouth, thirst, and nose bleed. Taking large amounts of horny goat weed might cause spasms and severe breathing problems. Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmia) have also been reported
  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Horny Goat Weed?"


  • Horny goat weed slows blood clotting and might increase the risk of bleeding
  • Horny goat weed acts like estrogen and can increase estrogen levels in some women. Horney goat weed might make estrogen-sensitive conditions, such as breast and uterine cancer, worse
  • Horny goat weed might lower blood pressure. In people who already have low blood pressure, using horny goat weed might drop blood pressure too low and increase the risk of fainting

Pregnancy and Lactation

  • Horny goat weed is unsafe to use during pregnancy
  • Avoid the use of horny goat weed when breastfeeding
Medscape. Horny Goat Weed.
RxList. Epimedium Supplements.

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