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Article of the Day: Ibogaine

 
 
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 11:01 am
I've got thefreedictionary.org tabbed on my browser, and I came across their article of the day: Ibogaine

Ibogaine, a psychoactive compound derived from plants, is used by some African peoples for medicinal and ritual purposes. Identified in the early 1960s as having anti-addictive properties, it has been shown to cause sudden and complete interruption of heroin addiction"without withdrawal"in a matter of hours. Research suggests that it may also be useful in treating addiction to alcohol, methamphetamine, cocaine, and nicotine. Why is it banned in many countries? More...

"Anecdotal reports also suggest that ibogaine may have potential to drive introspection that helps elucidate the psychological issues and behavior patterns that drive addiction or other problems."


I had never heard of this drug. It's too bad that its use for treatment of heroin and other substance addictions would be its pesky hallucinogenic side-effects . It also carries other potential health risks. The article was copied from an early Wikipedia entry about the drug. Wikipedia goes further in its description of the drug's side effects:

One of the first noticeable effects of large-dose ibogaine ingestion is ataxia, a difficulty in coordinating muscle motion which makes standing and walking virtually impossible without assistance. Xerostomia (dry mouth), nausea, and vomiting may follow. These symptoms are long in duration, ranging from 4 to 24 hours in some cases. Ibogaine is sometimes administered by enema to help the subject avoid vomiting up the dose. Psychiatric medications are strongly contraindicated in ibogaine therapy due to adverse interactions. Some studies also suggest the possibility of adverse interaction with heart conditions. In one study of canine subjects, ibogaine was observed to increase sinus arrhythmia (the normal change in heart rate during respiration).[2] Ventricular ectopy has been observed in a minority of patients during ibogaine therapy.[3] It has been proposed that there is a theoretical risk of QT-interval prolongation following ibogaine administration.[4]

There are 12 documented fatalities that have been loosely associated with ibogaine ingestion.[5] Exact determinations of the cause of death have proven elusive due to the quasi-legal status of ibogaine and the unfamiliarity of medical professionals with this relatively rare substance. No autopsy to date has implicated ibogaine as the sole cause of death. Causes given range from significant pre-existing medical problems to the surreptitious consumption of other drugs in conjunction with ibogaine. Most legal and illegal psychoactive drugs are strongly contraindicated during or immediately after ibogaine treatment, which presents a risk in undersupervised or self-treating subjects.


. . .

Ibogaine and its salts were regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1967 pursuant to its enhanced authority to regulate stimulants, depressants, and hallucinogens granted by the 1965 Drug Abuse Control Amendments (DACA) to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. In 1970, with the passage of the Controlled Substances Act, it was classified as a Schedule I controlled substance in the United States, along with other psychedelics such as LSD and mescaline. Since that time, several other countries, including Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, and Switzerland, have also banned the sale and possession of ibogaine.

In early 2006, a non-profit foundation addressing the issue of providing ibogaine for the purpose of addiction interruption within establishment drug treatment care was formed in Sweden.[31]
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