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Ibogaine History & Timeline


The first description of T. iboga is published.

A specimen is brought to France from Gabon.

A published description of the ceremonial use of

T. iboga in Gabon appears in 1885.



Ibogaine is isolated and crystallized from T. iboga root bark.



Ibogaine is isolated and crystallized from T. iboga root bark.



Ibogaine is sold in France as Lambarene,

a “neuromuscular stimulant,” in 8 mg tablets,

recommended for indications that include

fatigue, depression, and recovery

from infectious disease.



Harris Isbell administers doses of ibogaine

of up to 300 mg to eight already detoxified morphine addicts at the

U.S. Addiction Research Center in Lexington, Kentucky.



The description of the definitive chemical structure of ibogaine is published.

The total synthesis of ibogaine is reported in 1965.



In the United States, Howard Lotsof administers

ibogaine to 1-9 individuals at dosages

of 6 to 19 mg/kg, including 7 with opioid

dependence who note an apparent

effect on acute withdrawal symptomatology.



The World Health Assembly classifies ibogaine

with hallucinogens and stimulants as a “substance likely to cause dependency or endanger human health.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) assigns ibogaine Schedule I classification.

The International Olympic Committee bans ibogaine as a potential doping agent.

Sales of Lambarene cease in France.



Dr. Claudio Naranjo, a psychiatrist, receives a French patent for the psychotherapeutic

use of ibogaine at a dosage of 4 to 5 mg/kg.



Howard Lotsof receives a U.S. patent for the

use of ibogaine in opiate withdrawal.

Additional patents follow for indications

of dependence on cocaine and other

stimulants, alcohol, nicotine,

and polysubstance abuse.



U.S. and Dutch researchers publish initial findings

suggestive of the efficacy of ibogaine in

animal models of addiction,

including diminished opioid self-administration

and withdrawal, as well as

diminished cocaine self-administration.



Treatments are conducted outside of

conventional medical settings in the Netherlands

involving the International Coalition of

Addict Self-Help (ICASH),

Dutch Addict Self Help (DASH),

and NDA International.



Based on case reports and preclinical evidence

suggesting possible efficacy,

NIDA Medication Development Division (MDD)

begins its ibogaine project.

The major objectives of the ibogaine project

are preclinical toxicological evaluation

and development of a human protocol.


August 1993

FDA Advisory Panel meeting, chaired by

Medical Review Officer Curtis Wright,

is held to formally consider Investigational

New Drug Application filed by Dr. Deborah Mash,

Professor of Neurology at the

University of Miami School of Medicine.

Approval is given for human trials.

The approved Ibogaine dosage levels are

1, 2, and 5 mg/kg.

The Phase I dose escalation study begins

December 1993, but activity is eventually

suspended due to lack of funds.


October 93- December 94

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

holds a total of four Phase I/II protocol development meetings,

which include outside consultants.

The resulting draft protocol calls for the single administration or fixed dosages of

ibogaine of 150 and 300 mg versus placebo for the indication of cocaine dependence.



NIDA Ibogaine Review Meeting is held in

Rockville, Maryland,

chaired by the MDD Deputy Director, Dr. Frank Vocci.

The possibility of NIDA funding a human trial

of the efficacy of ibogaine is considered.

Opinions of representatives of the pharmaceutical

industry are mostly critical, and are a significant

influence in the decision not to fund the trial.

NIDA ends its ibogaine project but it does

continue to support some preclinical

research on iboga alkaloids.


Mid 1990’s- 2001

Ibogaine becomes increasingly available in

alternative settings, in view of the lack of approval

in the Europe and the United States.

Treatments in settings based on a conventional

medical model are conducted in

Panama in 1994 and 1995 and in St. Kitts from

1996 to the present. Informal scenes begin

in the United States, Slovenia, Britain,

the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic.

 he Ibogaine Mailing List begins in 1997 and

heralds an increasing utilization of the Internet

within the ibogaine medical subculture.

From Ibogaine: A Review by Kenneth R. Alper.
Published in Ibogaine: Proceedings of the First International Conference (The Alkaloids, Volume 56) Academic Press, 20


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