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Detoxification from methadone using low, repeated, and increasing doses of ibogaine: A case report

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Abstract

Background and aims

Ibogaine is a natural alkaloid that has been used in the last decades as an adjuvant for the treatment of opiate withdrawal. Despite the beneficial results suggested by animal studies and case series, there is a lack of clinical trials to assess the safety and efficacy of ibogaine. Moreover, the majority of reports described cases of heroin-dependent individuals, with and without concomitant use of methadone, using high doses of ibogaine. Therefore, it is not clear if ibogaine at low doses could be used therapeutically in people on methadone maintenance treatments (MMT).

Methods

Case report of a female on MMT for 17 years who performed a self-treatment with several low and cumulative doses of ibogaine over a 6-week period.

Results

The patient successfully eliminated her withdrawals from methadone with ibogaine. Each administration of ibogaine attenuated the withdrawal symptoms for several hours, and reduced the tolerance to methadone until all signs of withdrawal symptoms disappeared at the end of the treatment. No serious adverse effects were observed, and at no point did the QTc measures reach clinically significant scores. Twelve months after the treatment, she was no longer on MMT.

Conclusions

To our knowledge, this is the first case report describing an ibogaine treatment using low and cumulative doses in a person on MMT. Although preliminary, this case suggests that low and cumulative doses of ibogaine may reduce withdrawal symptoms in patients undergoing MMT.

Wilkins, C., dos Santos, R. G., Solá, J., Aixalá, M., Cura, P., Moreno, E., … & Bouso, J. C. (2017). Detoxification from methadone using low, repeated, and increasing doses of ibogaine: A case report. Journal of Psychedelic Studies1(1), 29-34. 10.1556/2054.01.2017.005
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