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Ibogaine is a derivative of Iboga, used in medicinal and ritual purposes within African spiritual traditions of the Bwiti tribe. This substance is found in the root bark of the schrub Tabernanthe Iboga, wich grows in Central Africa.

It has been used by tribal peoples and shamans for thousands of years. Since the decade of l960, has been used very successfully as a treatment for drug addiction.

Medsafe received several requests for import into the Ibogaine to New Zealand. In response to these requests,  they decided to clarify the status  of inclusion in  their program.

Ibogaine is a naturally occurring alkaloid derived from the root bark of the shrub Tabernanthe Iboga, located in the rain forests of Africa. In low doses, is used by some Western Africa aborigines for treatment of fatigue,  hunger and thirst, and in higher doses for religious ritualistic purposes.

The use of ibogaine for the treatment of drug addiction is based on reports from the experiences of groups of European and American self-help, in which the signs of the opiates were removed and anxiety  for  drugs like cocaine and heroin was reduced by extended periods of time.

Although Ibogaine has different effects on the central nervous system, drug  targets as physiological and psychological actions are not completely understood.

The intended Ibogaine effective after administration of a single dose is due to the formation of an active metabolite. Ibogaine is O-demethylated to 12 hydroxy yibogaine (noribogaine) because of  the activity of liver enzymes. Noribogaine apparently has a slow rate of clearance in humans, suggesting that some of the side effects of Ibogaine are due to the actions of the metabolite.

The Committee has an information table in which it seeks to establish that there is public information regarding the Ibogaine and some fatalities. The figures showed that the number of deaths from Methadone,  more controlled substance, is slightly higher than those related to Ibogaine, a substance that is not controlled.

Ibogaine use is reported most frequently in the reduction or elimination of opiates addiction.

Ibogaine seems to relieve the withdrawal symptoms of opiates. It also suggests that ibogaine is used to treat other types of substances such as alcohol, methamphetamine and nicotine.

Since it is used for therapeutically treating addictions and controlled manner, Medsafe think you can come to terms to classify Ibogaine and its metabolite noribogaine as prescription medications. This does not necessarily restrict their use to therapeutic area, but limit the attempts counter and would provide for the development of its use as a recreational drug, although its use is not as pleasant as the pills that are used for this purpose.

Medsafe also asked a psychiatrist who proposed to conduct a clinical study using Ibogaine. His opinion was that its appeal as a recreational drug is low; shared his concern at the ad hoc use as a medicament for fashion addicts may occur, followed by the media interest in the product and that can be dangerous. The psychiatrist supports the idea of classifying Ibogaine as prescribed medicine.

Because of its potential as a therapeutic product, its safety profile and potential misuse, Medsafe suggested that the substance of Ibogaine, its metabolite noribogaine, meet the criteria for classification under the Medicine Act, 1981. This will provide the ability to control import and dosage of Ibogaine, its metabolite, or any product containing any of the two substances.

The Committee agrees with the recommendation to classify Ibogaine as prescribed medicine.

Recommendation:

Ibogaine and its metabolite noribogaine is classified as prescribed medication