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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.

Methods: 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.

Results: 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.

Conclusions: 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.

dos Santos, R. G., Bouso, J. C., & Hallak, J. E. (2016). The antiaddictive effects of ibogaine: A systematic literature review of human studies. Journal of Psychedelic Studies, (0), 1-9. 10.1556/2054.01.2016.001

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