Addiction Disorders and Therapy

Ibogaine Effect on Cocaine Craving and Use in Dependent Patients - A Double- Blind, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study

Published on: 2014-07-31


Background: Cocaine dependence is a prevalent mental disorder, with unfortunately no specific treatment at the moment. Ibogaine is an extract from an African root, with several evidence pointing to its success in treating several addictive disorders. There are very few human studies evaluating its efficacy in cocaine dependence.
Materials and Methods: A double blind, placebo controlled study was conducted with 20 patients (N=20), split in 2 groups: the ibogaine group received a single dose of 1800 mg of encapsulate ibogaine extract, and the placebo group received a single capsule of sugar powder. All patients were followed for a 24 week period, with biweekly visits to a psychiatric professional, in which a urine sample was collected in order to detect cocaine use. Data analyzes was performed using ANOVA for repeated measures for comparison of data between groups and between members of the same group. Urine samples were compared (positive results) using measure ANOVA statistical tests with the Least Squares Difference for post hoc two group comparisons. Statistical significance was 5% (P< 0.05) for all the referred tests.
Results: Statistical significance was observed in the ibogaine group after treatment (p<0,0001), in comparison with baseline (time zero) and with the placebo group at any time of analysis. No such improvement was observed in the placebo group.
Conclusions: Ibogaine is an effective treatment for cocaine dependence, and more studies with larger samples are necessary in order to establish its efficacy and validity.


Ibogaine; Cocaine dependence; Double blind trial