What Are Some Common Medical Uses for Ibogaine?


Quick Answer

Ibogaine is classified as a Schedule I drug in the United States, and it has no stated medical uses, according to the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, or MAPS. This natural psychoactive substance is finding use as an anti-addictive drug, reversing addiction to narcotics and cocaine, notes WebMD.

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Full Answer

Research from countries such as Mexico and New Zealand confirm that ibogaine has proven anti-addictive properties, especially for opiates, and reduces the cravings and withdrawal symptoms associated with narcotics, WebMD confirms. Other research also establishes the efficacy of ibogaine in the treatment of alcohol addiction in mice. However, the natural neurotoxicity, hallucinogenic properties and high risk of addiction prevents the medical use of the substance in the United States.

In the 1990s, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration permitted human trials for ibogaine, but the trials were stopped after the National Institute on Drug Abuse opposed the commercial release of the drug, citing the high risk of seizures and brain damage in addicts, according to the Village Voice. Ibogaine is also highly reactive to other medications and may be dangerous to patients who have compromised liver function or existing heart conditions, MAPS reports. The Global Ibogaine Therapist Alliance, an ibogaine advocacy group supports the medical use of ibogaine but recognizes the slow pace of approval for the drug.

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