What is Noribogaine?

Noribogaine, or 10-hydroxyibogamine, is an active metabolite of ibogaine that is produced in the liver after ibogaine administration.

Ibogaine is known to have a half-life of about one hour in the blood, and while it has been shown to possibly be stored in fat tissue, it is believed that much of the long-acting benefits of ibogaine are attributable to the presence of noribogaine, which has a much longer half-life, and remains in the blood up to a day after the administration of a therapeutic dose of ibogaine1

Studies have demonstrated that noribogaine has many of the same therapeutic qualities as ibogaine, including lowering self-administration of opiates, cocaine2 and alcohol, as well as increase of levels of GDNF,3 which is neuroprotective and stimulates the growth of new neurons. Other studies failed to demonstrate noribogaine’s effectiveness in lowering self-administration of opiates, which suggests it may have different neurochemical pathways than ibogaine.4

It is believed that noribogaine’s longer-acting nature contributes greatly to the therapeutic benefit of ibogaine administration. Research is currently underway in New Zealand and elsewhere to assess the therapeutic benefit of treatment with noribogaine.

  1. Michael H. Baumann, John Pablo, Syed F. Ali, Richard B. Rothman, Deborah C. Mash. Comparative Neuropharmacology of Ibogaine and its O-Desmethyl Metablite, Noribogaine. The Alkaloids, Vol. 56. 2001. 

  2. Glick, S.D., Pearl, S.M., Cai, J. and Maisonneuve, I.M. Ibogaine-like effects of noribogaine in rats. Brain Res. 1996, 713: 294-7. 

  3. Carnicella, S., He, D.Y., Yowell, Q.V., Glick, S.D., Ron, D. Noribogaine, but not 18-MC, exhibits similar actions as ibogaine on GDNF expression and ethanol self-administration. Addiction Biology. October 2010. 15(4):424-33. 

  4. Layer, R.T., Skolnick, P., Bertha, C.M., Kuehne, M.E. and Popik, P. Modification of the expression of morphine dependence by ibogaine derivatives: relation to NMDA antagonist actions. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 1996, 309: 159-65. 

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