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      The antiaddictive effects of ibogaine: A systematic literature review of human studies


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          Background and aims

          Ibogaine is a naturally occurring hallucinogenic alkaloid with a therapeutic potential for reducing drug craving and withdrawal. To the best of our knowledge, no systematic review was previously performed assessing these effects. Thus, we conducted a systematic literature review of human studies assessing the antiaddictive effects of ibogaine.


          Papers published up to July 2, 2016 were included from PubMed, LILACS, and SciELO databases following a comprehensive search strategy and a pre-determined set of criteria for article selection.


          Two hundred and fifty-nine studies were identified, of which eight met the established criteria. Seven studies were open-label case series with ibogaine and one study was a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial with noribogaine. Case series suggest that a single dose or a few treatments with ibogaine may significantly reduce drug withdrawal, craving, and self-administration in dependent individuals lasting from 24 h to weeks or months. No significant effects of noribogaine on opiate/opioid withdrawal were observed in the clinical trial.


          Considering the necessity of new drugs that may produce fast-acting and sustained effects in opiate/opioid and cocaine dependence, the potential beneficial effects of ibogaine/noribogaine should be further investigated in controlled trials.

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          Most cited references32

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          Antidepressive, anxiolytic, and antiaddictive effects of ayahuasca, psilocybin and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD): a systematic review of clinical trials published in the last 25 years.

          To date, pharmacological treatments for mood and anxiety disorders and for drug dependence show limited efficacy, leaving a large number of patients suffering severe and persistent symptoms. Preliminary studies in animals and humans suggest that ayahuasca, psilocybin and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) may have antidepressive, anxiolytic, and antiaddictive properties. Thus, we conducted a systematic review of clinical trials published from 1990 until 2015, assessing these therapeutic properties. Electronic searches were performed using the PubMed, LILACS, and SciELO databases. Only clinical trials published in peer-reviewed journals were included. Of these, 151 studies were identified, of which six met the established criteria. Reviewed studies suggest beneficial effects for treatment-resistant depression, anxiety and depression associated with life-threatening diseases, and tobacco and alcohol dependence. All drugs were well tolerated. In conclusion, ayahuasca, psilocybin and LSD may be useful pharmacological tools for the treatment of drug dependence, and anxiety and mood disorders, especially in treatment-resistant patients. These drugs may also be useful pharmacological tools to understand psychiatric disorders and to develop new therapeutic agents. However, all studies reviewed had small sample sizes, and half of them were open-label, proof-of-concept studies. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies with more patients are needed to replicate these preliminary findings.
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            Do the dissociative side effects of ketamine mediate its antidepressant effects?

            The N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor antagonist ketamine has rapid antidepressant effects in major depression. Psychotomimetic symptoms, dissociation and hemodynamic changes are known side effects of ketamine, but it is unclear if these side effects relate to its antidepressant efficacy.
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              Single versus repeated sessions of ketamine-assisted psychotherapy for people with heroin dependence.

              A prior study found that one ketamine-assisted psychotherapy session was significantly more effective than active placebo in promoting abstinence (Krupitsky et al. 2002). In this study of the efficacy of single versus repeated sessions of ketamine-assisted psychotherapy in promoting abstinence in people with heroin dependence, 59 detoxified inpatients with heroin dependence received a ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (KPT) session prior to their discharge from an addiction treatment hospital, and were then randomized into two treatment groups. Participants in the first group received two addiction counseling sessions followed by two KPT sessions, with sessions scheduled on a monthly interval (multiple KPT group). Participants in the second group received two addiction counseling sessions on a monthly interval, but no additional ketamine therapy sessions (single KPT group). At one-year follow-up, survival analysis demonstrated a significantly higher rate of abstinence in the multiple KPT group. Thirteen out of 26 subjects (50%) in the multiple KPT group remained abstinent, compared to 6 out of 27 subjects (22.2%) in the single KPT group (p < 0.05). No differences between groups were found in depression, anxiety, craving for heroin, or their understanding of the meaning of their lives. It was concluded that three sessions of ketamine-assisted psychotherapy are more effective than a single session for the treatment of heroin addiction.

                Author and article information

                Journal of Psychedelic Studies
                Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
                19 December 2016
                March 2017
                : 1
                : 1
                : 20-28
                [ 1 ]Department of Neurosciences and Behavior, Ribeirão Preto Medical School, University of São Paulo , Ribeirão Preto, Brazil
                [ 2 ] International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research and Service , Barcelona, Spain
                [ 3 ] National Institute of Science and Technology – Translational Medicine , Ribeirão Preto, Brazil
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author: Rafael G. dos Santos, PhD; Departamento de Neurociências e Ciências do Comportamento, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Hospital das Clínicas, Terceiro Andar, Av. Bandeirantes, 3900, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil; Phone/Fax: +55 16 3602 2703; E-mail: banisteria@ 123456gmail.com
                © 2016 Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest
                : 22 August 2016
                : 15 October 2016
                : 19 October 2016
                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 1, Equations: 0, References: 39, Pages: 9

                Evolutionary Biology,Medicine,Psychology,Educational research & Statistics,Social & Behavioral Sciences
                dependence,noribogaine,ibogaine,substance use disorders,withdrawal


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