Ibogaine What is it and is it Safe?

by Dr. George Crabb on February 10, 2014 · 15 comments

imageIbogaine (12-Methoxyibogamine) is a naturally occurring psychoactive substance found in a number of plants, principally in a member of the Apocynaceae family known as iboga. In recent times, it has been identified as having anti-addictive properties. It is a highly controlled substance in the United States. It is classified by the FDA as a Schedule I drug, meaning that it is not available to the general public. Anyone legally seeking this drug would have to travel to one of the countries where it is available, such as Canada.

Ibogaine is thought to interrupt addiction to methadone, heroin, other opiates, alcohol, methamphetamine, and cocaine. The most studied therapeutic effect of ibogaine is the reduction or elimination of addiction to opiods. An integral effect is the alleviation of symptoms of opiod withdrawal by its action on the kappa and mu opiod receptors in the brain. It has an aspect of an opiate replacement similar to compounds like methadone (this is distinctly different from Suboxone treatment.) It can only be used briefly because of its significant side effect profile. Thus, it is always linked to a “rapid detox program.” It also appears to act as a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor like many of the newer anti-depressants on the market today (like Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Lexapro, etc.)

Ibogaine is not the “magic pill” everyone is looking for. The programs that use ibogaine as part of their “rapid detox program” also recommend “intensive counseling, therapy and aftercare treatment” which they classify as having “significant value” in the person’s overall program. They go on to say “some individuals require a second or third treatment session with ibogaine over the course of the next 12-18 months.” They also go on to say, “A minority of individuals relapse completely into opiate addiction within days to weeks.” So ibogaine is a drug treatment that must be used over a short period of time because of its side effect profile, and the individual must have extensive counseling and follow up aftercare for there to be any chance of continued sobriety.

The side effect profile is huge, thus the risk of taking the drug is enormous. The side effects of taking ibogaine are as follows:
#1 Sensation of fear
#2 Temporary short-term memory impairment
#3 Ataxia (difficulty standing or walking)
#4 Xerostomia (dry mouth)
#5 Nausea and vomiting
#6 Cardiac arrhythmias (atrial & ventricular – some potentially fatal)
#7 Brain damage

The drug also shows adverse interaction with some heart conditions and psychiatric medications are strongly contraindicated. There are 12 documented fatalities associated with ibogaine ingestion. Grapefruit juice cannot be taken before, during or immediately after ibogaine treatment because of adverse side effects.
At this time I CANNOT recommend the use of ibogaine as a “rapid detox” drug. The risks are too high including brain damage and even death. There are other alternatives available that are significantly safer and more effective.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Cliff Williams April 23, 2010 at 11:52 am

Wow! Thank you for this article Dr Crabb. This provides a wealth of information on different aspects of the drug that I was unaware of. It seems as though there were a lot of people in America that were seeing this as the cure or something. With all of the physical risks involved this (Ibogaine) would especially be dangerous for someone that has been using copious amounts of drugs up and to that point, seeing as though their physical Heath is already compromised. Thank you so much for this article. I am excited to see what is next.

ibogaworld April 28, 2010 at 7:12 pm

Thanx for this post. There is much more information on Ibogaine on IbogaWorld.com there are great people helping you with al you want to now about Ibogaine. Treatment and Advice from Sara Glatt.

david5259 May 12, 2010 at 4:59 pm

I have taken Ibogaine as detox for addiction to Opiates. It is not AT ALL what you would think from the info on the web. This Doctor's information is right on the money. I consider myself lucky to have survived the experience. It was a living hell, and as close to death as I have ever been. There are much better, more compassionate options out there, and the majority of people on the web talking about Ibogaine are either poorly informed, have not taken it, or stand to directly profit from the growth in demand for these treatments. LISTEN TO THIS DOCTOR'S ADVICE.

Melanie December 15, 2010 at 8:23 am

Ibogaine didnt for me. I relapsed 3 months after ibogain because i felt the urges and depression come back.

Simone213 January 28, 2011 at 12:40 am

I was on methadone and then made the transition to suboxone. I used ibogaine HCL and TA weekly for a few months. I started to get memory loss after 2 months, my doc said I could have almost been brain damaged. All it did for me was take the sweating away. You get severe depression once the ibogaine leaves your system. I got severe depression 2 months after I finished my last boosters. I would say save your money, it doesn't work. Am living example and I did the right protocol.

Opium Addiction April 14, 2011 at 11:57 am

Opium addiction has affected entire populations and international economies, and through the dissemination of other drugs which are derived from it, opium addiction in one form or another has become a worldwide problem.

Cocaine Addiction May 18, 2011 at 11:29 am

to the dose of Codeine prescribed may also be one of the reasons for
codeine addiction.Many people become dependent on Codeine as addiction
to opiate painkillers has become common place now-a-days.So,It is always
better to let know the doctor if the patient feels that the prescribed
dosage is not giving the same results in releiving the pain as
before.This whould be a great help in preventing the addiction.One of
the prominant side effects of Codeine a euphoric or dreamy feeling that
can blunt emotional pain.This is one of the reasons why the patients get
prompted to take more of Codeine, so that they can feel better which
leads to codeine addiction.

drcrabb September 5, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Thanks for your encouraging words. More posts to come.

Bliss3182 May 9, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Of course you don’t recommend ibogaine…… This amazing drug can potentially hurt your business as you are not able to use it due to the fact that it is illegal in the united states. The problem in America is that this country would much rather “maintain” patients on medication that they would have to pay for monthly rather then cure the patient. It’s simply “better business”. Think about it….. Let’s say there was a miracle pill that can cure a patient with just one dose. There would be a lot of pharmaceutical companies out of business plus the government would lose a ton of tax dollars. Now that’s not to say that you don’t want the best for your patients however it IS a disturbing fact that can’t be ignored. In Nearly every country

Sarah June 9, 2012 at 8:19 am

I need help with dosage amount and a reliable place to purchase ibogaine I have tried all other treatments nothing has worked for
Me please help me with info email me please sarah_kelly11@aol.com

Sarah June 9, 2012 at 8:34 am

I need help with dosage amount and a reliable place to purchase ibogaine I have tried all other treatments nothing has worked for
Me please help me with info email me please sarah_kelly11@aol.com

Johnny tabaie June 14, 2012 at 6:18 am

I bogaine saves lives…………..Ibogaine Treatment works.
Good luck guys!!! 

J1111t June 14, 2012 at 6:20 am

Addiction Treatment is outdated, Ibogaien picks up where others fall short! Google side effects deaths in failures of converntonal rehabs.

Boddy June 14, 2012 at 6:22 am

The information I gathered is 10 people die per day on methadone….. wtf!

If111 July 13, 2012 at 2:57 am

Have you ever seen anyone die?

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