D.C. Mash, L. Duque, J.D. Kamlet, F.D. Ervin and K. Allen-Ferdinand
University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
and Healing Visions, St. Kitts, WI
The apparent ability of ibogaine to interrupt dependence on heroin and cocaine was first described in the early 1960s.
Anecdotal accounts of the acute and long-term effects of ibogaine have included only a small series of case reports of opiate
and cocaine addicts(Sheppard, 1994; Sisko, 1993; Alper et al., 1999) with observations provided for only 7, 4 and 14
subjects, respectively. Thus, objective investigations of ibogaine's effects on craving for drugs and alcohol and on the
signs and symptoms of opiate withdrawal are not available. We have evaluated the safety and pharmacokinetics of
ibogaine in the setting of an inpatient detoxification in over 400 patient volunteers assessed from 1996 to the present. We
have attempted to collect data from this study using Food and Drug Administration guidelines for good clinical practices.
Our clinical experience to date indicates that ibogaine has little toxicity in doses ranging from 1 to 14 mg/kg. Oral
administration of ibogaine to opiate-dependent individuals was associated with significant blockade of the characteristic
opiate-withdrawal signs and symptoms. We have also examined whether ibogaine affects drug craving using
multidimensional craving questionnaires for heroin and cocaine. To the extent that physical, psychological, and emotional
well-being might impact their self-reports of craving during their course of stay, participants also completed standardized
questionnaires about their health both before and after ibogaine treatment and at program discharge. To assess whether the
benefits of ibogaine on drug craving would persist outside of a controlled environment, one month follow-up data were
also collected. The results of ibogaine research conducted offshore indicates that ibogaine diminishes drug cravings and
improves mood. Ibogaine may an adjunct to brief intervention to help patients to reduce risky or hazardous drug and
alcohol use. Ibogaine also motivates some drug-dependent patients to enter treatment with the goal of long-term
abstinence. (Supported in part by the Addiction Research Fund).
Offshore Investigations of the Non-Addictive Plant Alkaloid Ibogaine:
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