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Ibogaine Treatment

Last reviewed by Dr. Raj MD on January 12th, 2022.

What is Ibogaine Treatment?

Those who suffer from addiction are well aware of the fact that it is not easy to break free.

There is a treatment that many are talking about that promises to help save people from their addictions. Ibogaine has been said to help those addicted to cocaine, crack, heroin, methadone, alcohol and even nicotine.

Ibogaine is similar to many illegal drugs being that it is naturally occurring and causes psychoactive symptoms. It comes from the root of a plant called Tabernanthe iboga which is found in Africa. Due to the lack of proper investigation on the medication, it is not medically approved in most countries but has found its way into the herbal medicine world. (19,20)

In this article, you will learn more about what is to be expected from Ibogaine treatment as well as its costs. Also discussed will be the cost and possible places treatment can be found. The legal status of

Ibogaine around the world is also discussed in detail. Lastly, a similar legal option is outlined. This article is meant to help you understand and have proper information regarding Ibogaine treatment. Be sure to always consult with your doctor before entering any new treatment types.

the chemical structure of ibogaine.picture
Image 1. The chemical structure of ibogaine.
Picture Source : upload.wikimedia.org

How does Ibogaine function in my body?

  • It has been noted to affect the areas within the neurotransmitter system
  • Studies show that it works with acetylcholine, serotonin and dopamine receptors.
  • The above causes an alteration in protein expression. The specific alterations are noted in substance P, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, c-fos and inferior olive. All of these proteins affect the Purkinje cells in the brain. (6,21)
  • Studies have shown that it has the ability to close extracellular pathways and open the cytoplasmic ones. The exact mechanism used is still unknown.
  • There is also evidence that it blocks potassium channels causing a cardiac effect.
  • Other cardiac effects shows that it slows ventricular repolarization
  • Lastly, there has also been notations that it lengthens the QT interval for ECG (6)

What is the expected success rate of recovery with Ibogaine treatment?

  • A study stated that there has been
  • greater than one third show relapse in one month
  • sixty percent show relapse in a couple months
  • eighty percent show relapse after six months
  • twenty percent make it past the six-month mark some of which show no relapse after more than a year.
  • All success rates show that proper rehabilitation is needed. The drug alone can not help with sobriety. Patients need to maintain contact with some sort of program. (18)

Tabernanthe iboge.image

Figure Source : www.iboga.co.za
Photo 2  :  Tabernanthe iboge

What effects will Ibogaine have on my body?

  • When taken in high dosages the following will be noted:
  • the decrease in drug withdrawal symptoms
  • the decrease in the desire to use drugs for short period of time after.
  • a better understanding of one’s addiction. (this is due to the neurotransmitter involvement)
  • excessive lowering of heart rate
  • Also, see risks below(20,15,6)

In small dosages, the following can be expected:

  • the increase in energy
  • the decrease in fatigue
  • stimulate dream-like state even while awake
  • the discovery of repressed memory
  • ability to view difficult situations in new ways
  • lowering of heart rate
  • Also, see risks below (16,15,6)

Treatment Options and Reviews

  • The following link has a comprehensive list of sites around the world which give ibogaine treatment. The owner of this article does not claim to agree or disagree with any of the reviews given by this site.
  • http://www.ibogaine.co.uk/options.htm#.WK8UkG8rLDc

Are there any risks to Ibogaine treatment for drug addiction?

All treatment types have some risks. Always be sure to consult your doctor before starting any new treatment. Studies have shown that there is much less risk if this drug is used alone and no other medication or drug is being used at the moment.

Here is a list of the findings from various studies regarding the risk of Ibogaine treatment.

  • Nausea
  • vomiting
  • Ataxia- slight muscular tremors
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Cardiac effects (which may occur several days after the dose) such as:
  • Arrhythmias- irregular heart rate or rhythm
  • Tremors
  • Seizures (high doses)
  • Death:
  • 1 in every 300 usually due to:
  • other medications or treatments being used as well
  • pre-existing heart conditions
  • use of raw materials instead of the safer HCI
  • lack of medical supervision (6,15,16,20)

What should I expect during an Ibogaine treatment?

  • The method of administration:
  • capsule form
  • one time dosage
  • may need more than one treatment

Ibogaine is normally given in capsule form.image

Figure 3 : Ibogaine is normally given in capsule form.
Picture Source : www.maps.org

  • Should always be used alongside a rehabilitation program to be most effective.
  • Is not a ‚Äúmagic solutions,‚ÄĚ patient should be prepared and willing to end drug habits.
  • Daily checkups are needed
  • See effects listed above (20,7)

See the following documentary to get a close-up view of Ibogaine treatment. In this documentary, a filmmaker decides to record his own experience with the treatment. It gives a clear depiction of many of the physical effects that the treatment may have.

the typical process of Ibogaine treatment.photos
Picture Source : ibogainecleanse.com
Photo 4: The typical process of Ibogaine treatment.

How much will a treatment of Ibogaine cost?

The price will, of course, depend on where you go for the treatment. Currently, the price of treatment will be between $3,000 and $10,000 usd. (20)

Where can I get treatment? (see Treatment options and reviews above)

  • Mexico
  • Caribbean
  • Thailand
  • Panama (19,20)

What is the legal status of Ibogaine around the world?

a better idea of the ways that drugs are classified.image

Picture 5 : Abetter idea of the ways that drugs are classified.

Image Source : s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com

The following information can change as current laws for medication use are in constant review and change in all countries.

  • In the United Kingdom
    o    unlicensed
    o    experimental
    o    ok to possess but  not distribute
    o    available in laypersons setting
  • In the United States of America
    o    restricted schedule I
    o    undeveloped
  • In Canada
    o    unregulated
  • In Switzerland
    o    restricted
  • In Denmark
    o    restricted schedule I
  • In Sweden
    o    restricted
  • In Belgium
    o    restricted
  • In Mexico
    o    unregulated
  • In Norway
    o    illegal
  • In Germany
    o    unregulated
    o    regulated by AMG for pharmaceutical use
  • In New Zealand
    o    non-approved prescription medication
  • In Brazil
    o    legalized for prescription (19,20)

Top Rated Treatment Centers (Clinics)

Are there similar options available? Yes!

  • Buprenorphine:

o    Administered through an implant

  • constant low dose delivery
  • Six-month treatment

o    Administered orally

  • Daily dose
  • short term treatment

o    Is a long-acting opioid antagonist
o    helps with social function
o    decreases risks involved in overdose (7)

In conclusion, Ibogaine treatment has been studied by many.

Most studies are inconclusive due to size and methods. The outcome of the treatment is highly connected to the decisions and rehabilitation efforts of each patient. Ibogaine should never be taken along with any other medical treatment or illegal drug.

There are various treatment options throughout the world many of which are run by laypersons and not medical staff. The treatment is still in trial phases and is not recommended by most countries authorities.

The outcome has shown successful in patients from various walks of life.  There are other options available for drug rehab that may be just as effective and are legal.  The decision of whether the risks outweigh the benefits is strictly up to each patient and should be thoroughly discussed with doctors and family members.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4628299/¬† ‚ÄúHerbal seizures‚ÄĚ ‚Äď atypical symptoms after ibogaine intoxication: a case report, Lorenz Breuer, Burkhard S. Kasper, Bernd Schwarze, Juergen M. Gschossmann, Johannes Kornhuber, and Helge H. M√ľllercorresponding author
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4888945/ Anti-addiction drug ibogaine inhibits hERG channels: a cardiac arrhythmia risk!, Xaver Koenig,#1 Michael Kovar,#1 Stefan Boehm,1 Walter Sandtner,2 and Karlheinz Hilber
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3783954/  Noribogaine, but not 18-MC, exhibits similar actions as ibogaine on GDNF expression and ethanol self-administration, Sebastien Carnicella,1,2,# Dao-Yao He,1 Quinn V. Yowell,1 Stanley D. Glick,3 and Dorit Ron1,2
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3853361/ Anti-addiction drug ibogaine inhibits voltage-gated ionic currents: A study to assess the drug’s cardiac ion channel profile‚ėÜ,Xaver Koenig,a Michael Kovar,a Lena Rubi,a Agnes K. Mike,a Peter Lukacs,a Vaibhavkumar S. Gawali,a Hannes Todt,a Karlheinz Hilber,a,‚Āé and Walter Sandtnerb
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4382526/ The Anti-Addiction Drug Ibogaine and the Heart: A Delicate Relation, Xaver Koenig* and Karlheinz Hilber*
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3365767/ The Mechanistic Basis for Noncompetitive Ibogaine Inhibition of Serotonin and Dopamine Transporters*An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc., Simon Bulling,‡,1 Klaus Schicker,‡,1 Yuan-Wei Zhang,§ Thomas Steinkellner,‡ Thomas Stockner,‡ Christian W. Gruber,‡ Stefan Boehm,‡ Michael Freissmuth,‡ Gary Rudnick,§ Harald H. Sitte,‡ and Walter Sandtner‡
  7. https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/noras-blog/2016/05/probuphine-game-changer-in-fighting-opioid-dependence Probuphine: A Game-Changer in Fighting Opioid Dependence
  8. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/363271#section=Top
  9. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/ibogaine#section=Top
  10. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/nationwide-trends Nationwide Trends
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26807959 How toxic is ibogaine?, Litjens RP1, Brunt TM2,3.
  12. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jcph.471/abstract;jsessionid=C0D24D1C37390E2000CB70826DE46483.f04t01 Influence of CYP2D6 activity on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of a single 20‚ÄČmg dose of ibogaine in healthy volunteers, Authors Paul Glue MD, FRCPsych, Helen Winter PhD, Kira Garbe MSc, Hannah Jakobi MSc, Alexander Lyudin MBChB,Zoe Lenagh-Glue BBiomedSci, C. Tak Hung PhD
  13. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/854087 “Herbal Seizures” ‚Äď Atypical Symptoms After Ibogaine Intoxication: A Case Report Lorenz Breuer; Burkhard S. Kasper; Bernd Schwarze; Juergen M. Gschossmann; Johannes Kornhuber; Helge H. M√ľller
  14. https://www.erowid.org/chemicals/ibogaine/ibogaine.shtml
  15. https://www.ibogainealliance.org/ibogaine/
  16. http://www.maps.org/research-archive/presentations/Brown_GITA_Vancouver_Oct2012_iboga_comm_rev.pdf Observational study of the long-term efficacy of ibogaine-assisted treatment in participants with opiate addiction Tom Kingsley Brown, PhD (UCSD), Valerie Mojeiko (MAPS), Karim Rishi Gargour (CIIS), and Meg Jordan, PhD, RN (CIIS)
  17. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibogaine
  18. http://www.ibogaine.co.uk/
  19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26807959 How toxic is ibogaine treatement?

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