Pol. Merkur. Lek (Pol. Med. J.), 2016, XLI/241: 050-055 Maximize

Pol. Merkur. Lek (Pol. Med. J.), 2016, XLI/241: 050-055

Title: Ibogaine – structure, influence on human body, clinical relevance 

Authors: Zdrojewicz Z, Kuszczak B, Olszak N. 

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Ibogaine – structure, influence on human body, clinical relevance

Zdrojewicz Z1, Kuszczak B2, Olszak N.2

Medical University of Wrocław, Poland: 1Chair and Departament of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Izotop Therapy; 2Medical Faculty

Ibogaine is a natural chemical compound, which belongs to the indole alkaloid family. It can be naturally found within the root bark of african plant Tabernanthe iboga. Ibogaine plays a significant role among tribal cultures. Ibogaine, in small amount, causes reduction of hunger, thirst and exhaustion. In bigger amount, however, it can cause intensive visions. Other effects include reduction or complete disappearance of absitnence symptoms visible in people addicted to the nicotine, alcohol, methamphetamine, cocaine or opioids, what has been scientifically proven after the tests on animals and small groups of people. After oral application, 80% of ibogaine is subjected to the Odemethylation into noribogaine; main catalyzing enzyme is cytochrome CYP2D6. Research suggests, that ibogaine acts in many places within central nervous system. NMDA receptors seem to play main role in its anti-addiction properties. It is important to mention the side effects of the compound, which are cardiotoxicity and neurotoxicity, what makes it harder to use its beneficial properties. Because of this, Ibogaine is included among the dangerous substance. However, there are a few clinics in the world which specializes in the use of the compound in order to interrupt the sypmtoms acute opioid withdrawal syndrome as well as a substance benficial in curing other addictions. There is more hope with synthetic derivatives of ibogaine, which although are less toxic still keep their anti-addiction properties. The aim is to collect the available knowledge related to the structure and effects on human body of alkaloid Tabernanthe iboga and consider the possibility of commercial medical use.

Key words: ibogaine, opioid withdrawal syndrome, addiction, drugs, cardiotoxicity

Pol Med J, 2016; XLI (241); 50–55