Ibogaine, an anti-addictive drug: pharmacology and time to go further in development. A narrative review

Abstract

Ibogaine is an indole alkaloid derived from the bark of the root of the African shrub Tabernanthe iboga. Psychoactive properties of ibogaine have been known for decades. More recently, based on experimental data from animals and anectodal reports in human, it has been found that this drug has anti-addictive effects. Several patents were published between 1969 and 1995. The pharmacology of ibogaine is quite complex, affecting many different neurotransmitter systems simultaneously. However, the pharmacological targets underlying the physiological and psychological actions of ibogaine are not completely understood. Ibogaine is rapidly metabolized in the body in noribogaine. The purpose of this article was to review data from the literature concerning physicochemical properties, bio-analytical methods, and pharmacology of ibogaine; this article will be focused on the use of this drug as anti-addictive agent.

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