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The Anti-Addiction Drug Ibogaine and the Heart: A Delicate Relation

Department of Neurophysiology and Neuropharmacology, Center for Physiology and Pharmacology, Medical University of Vienna, Schwarzspanierstrasse 17, Vienna 1090, Austria
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Academic Editor: Patricia Valentao
Molecules 2015, 20(2), 2208-2228; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules20022208
Received: 24 October 2014 / Revised: 11 November 2014 / Accepted: 26 November 2014 / Published: 29 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alkaloids: Novel Therapeutic Perspectives)
The plant indole alkaloid ibogaine has shown promising anti-addictive properties in animal studies. Ibogaine is also anti-addictive in humans as the drug alleviates drug craving and impedes relapse of drug use. Although not licensed as therapeutic drug and despite safety concerns, ibogaine is currently used as an anti-addiction medication in alternative medicine in dozens of clinics worldwide. In recent years, alarming reports of life-threatening complications and sudden death cases, temporally associated with the administration of ibogaine, have been accumulating. These adverse reactions were hypothesised to be associated with ibogaine’s propensity to induce cardiac arrhythmias. The aim of this review is to recapitulate the current knowledge about ibogaine’s effects on the heart and the cardiovascular system, and to assess the cardiac risks associated with the use of this drug in anti- addiction therapy. The actions of 18-methoxycoronaridine (18-MC), a less toxic ibogaine congener with anti-addictive properties, are also considered. View Full-Text
Keywords: anti-addiction therapy; cardiotoxicity; drug-induced long QT; hERG channel inhibition; ibogaine; indole alkaloid; 18-methoxycoronaridine; noribogaine; Torsade de Pointes arrhythmias anti-addiction therapy; cardiotoxicity; drug-induced long QT; hERG channel inhibition; ibogaine; indole alkaloid; 18-methoxycoronaridine; noribogaine; Torsade de Pointes arrhythmias
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Koenig, X.; Hilber, K. The Anti-Addiction Drug Ibogaine and the Heart: A Delicate Relation. Molecules 2015, 20, 2208-2228.

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