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Ruud Litjens – Ibogaine in the Treatment of Substance Dependence

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Ibogaine has been used for centuries by members of the Bwiti religion in western equatorial Africa as a religious sacrament, medicine and hunting aid. Since the discovery of the ability of ibogaine to interrupt addiction and withdrawal symptoms by Howard Lotsof it has also become of interest to the West. The complex pharmacology of ibogaine, in addition to its natural origin has caused it to be a substance that is of little interest to the pharmaceutical industry. However, over the years ibogaine has proven to be at least reasonably effective in treating different substance addictions in animal models. In the few clinical trials that were performed ibogaine showed promising results. Setbacks in the development of the drug have been its neurotoxic effects in rats and a number of deaths that were related to its use. In recent years little has been published regarding ibogaine research. In the meanwhile ibogaine use appears to be increasing in non-clinical settings and private clinics all over the world, the uncontrolled experiment continues. Should further research into ibogaine be pursued?

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