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Ibogaine Safety

Ibogaine Safety

Even though both iboga and ibogaine may be perfectly safe, they are only so as far as they are administered by experts, and only after the subject has undergone prior medical screening to determine overall health status and avoid potential complications; the results of the screening will then determine whether our potential guests are in sufficient health to undergo risk-free treatment at Iboga Root Sanctuary (Ibogaine Treatment UK). 
Ibogaine is known to slow down the heart rate and prolong the interval between each contraction and dilation–otherwise known as the QT interval–and its ingestion without supervision from trained medical professionals with the right equipment in not only risky, as it is something we do not condone.
However, even though statistics do show the incidence of ibogaine-related fatalities in recent years, it is still shown, by comparative statistics, to be safer than methadone. Because our clients’ safety is our top concern, we live by a rigorous screening process before deciding if a particular client’s health is well-suited and ready for ibogaine administration, testing for drugs upon arrival.
This is because we know that ibogaine interacts negatively with several drugs which may still be residual in a person’s system and is incompatible with certain pre-existing health conditions. In light of this, we will only accept a client into our care if they do not test positive for any of the medical conditions on our exclusion list.
Before we can safely admit you for treatment, we will require you to supply us with the results of a thorough medical examination, as well as a letter from your physician. The required tests/conditions include:
  • 12 lead ECG (stress echocardiogram in the case of abnormalities)
  • Comprehensive metabolic panel
  • Kidney function (including BUN – blood/urea/nitrogen levels
  • Liver function (including Albumin, AST, ALT, GGT)
  • Serum electrolytes (sodium, potassium, ionized calcium, magnesium, protein & glucose)
  • Complete blood count (including white blood count, haemoglobin, haematocrit, and platelet count)
  • Thyroid function (only if you are above 45 years of age)
  • We will also require that you be completely free of stimulants (including coffee) and not in withdrawal at the time of testing.
Only once our medical team have completed their assessment on your results will we then make the decision of either admitting you or not. If you so wish, we may also recommend medical testing laboratories in your area.
Upon your arrival to stay with us, our medical team will test you for drugs, take an initial ECG reading, and verify your electrolyte levels for the sake of safety and control. Should there be any preliminary issues, your treatment will be delayed until the medical team sees fit.
For the duration of your treatment, you will be connected to an EKG machine as well as to a pulse oximeter. An IV cannula may be inserted before your treatment, normally into either your hand or your arm should the need for administering an intravenous drip or any medications arise.
To be prepared for any kind of situation, our team has emergency medical supplies which include everything from oxygen tanks, down to a defibrillator, and our centre is only a mere 20km (or a twenty-minute drive) from the nearest hospital.
You may therefore rest assured that we have everything covered to make your treatment and stay as safe as possible.

Clare S. Wilkins, a founder of Pangea Biomedics, and has collaborated with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) in the seminal Mexico study, and through her work has facilitated over 700 ibogaine treatments.

Although she was once an intravenous drug user, who transitioned to methadone, and was then freed of her addiction by ibogaine; she has been an active board member of the Global Ibogaine Therapy Alliance (GITA) since 2010 and is currently collaborating with the International Centre for Ethnobotanical Education, Research and Service (ICEERS) to develop clinical trials for an ibogaine assisted detox to successfully get people off methadone.

As we have repeatedly mentioned throughout our website, Ibogaine can present certain health risks when proper safety measures are bypassed. While the information contained in this article is in no way a thorough and comprehensive risk assessment—because each person’s metabolism and medical history is different—you may consider it a primer, or steppingstone from which to conduct your own research before deciding if ibogaine is appropriate for your case.
When asked if ibogaine is safe, Wilkins maintains that in and of itself, it is not dangerous, but there are various risk factors which should be assessed.
To answer this question, she points to the work of doctors and experts such as Jeffrey Kamlet, Bruno Rasmussen, Ken Alper, Deborah Mash, Roman Paskulin and Jamie McAlpin for more in depth studies, but highlights the following risk areas to consider.
Because ibogaine increases the amount of electricity in the heart, it should be a paramount, non-negotiable protocol of any sound clinic to both demand and perform cardiac screenings. One of the main effects which ibogaine has on the heart is that it reduces the heart rate (bradycardia) down to about 10 beats per minute during a typical flood dose of 12-20mg/kg. If the heart rate remains too low for too long, this may require the administration of atropine to revive the patient, and is a serious, life-threatening situation.
Another one of the associated cardiac risks is what is called QT prolongation. A QT interval is the time taken for the ventricle to prepare for its next contraction, during which period the heart becomes vulnerable to arrhythmias or other complications. The reason this is significant is because withdrawal from certain substances also prolongs the QT interval, such as from alcohol, benzodiazepines, and methadone, so when detoxing from any of these, ibogaine can be extremely dangerous.
Another key factor to screen for is a patient’s drug use, Wilkins point out. This is because that majority of drug users are poly-drug users and may not always be completely honest about what they are taking, raising the need for proper toxicology screenings. In addition to this, Wilkins highlights the need for complete urine and blood panels to be analysed to determine possible infections and electrolyte levels.
Electrolyte counts are also something that should be screened for, according to Wilkins, since ibogaine is a potassium hERG channel blocker, and that potassium plays a vital role in cardiac function. When this channel is blocked for too long and one does not have a sufficiently high electrolyte count, arrhythmias can occur.
On this topic, the answer is more frequently on the negative side, mainly because ibogaine seems to increase the effect of most drugs or stimulants. For example, a simple cup of coffee, with a little as a micro dose of ibogaine can seem like 4 cups to some.

Individuals taking antipsychotics and antidepressants are automatically excluded. It is advisable to do much research on the issue, independently of what your centre of choice tells you, and a trusted source would be the Ibogaine Safety Guidelines.

Tackling the considerable misinformation surrounding ibogaine and benzodiazepines, Wilkins sets the record straight, saying that ibogaine is not as effective for benzos as it is for opioids or stimulants (for more in-depth information about tapering off benzodiazepines before considering an ibogaine treatment, patients should refer to the Heather Ashton manual.)

What is specifically recommended by the Ashton manual is a slow tapering off, over time.
The reason it is so dangerous with ibogaine is that benzodiazepine withdrawal on its own includes QT prolongation, fear, insomnia, seizures, extreme anxiety and even death. Moreover, a flood dose of ibogaine may flush the benzodiazepine out of the system, increasing the risk of the above symptoms.
However, there have been instances of successful ibogaine detoxes regarding benzos, and Wilkins advises clinics that experience such success to come forth and divulge the findings from each case so that a body of knowledge may be gathered on the issue.
Not surprisingly, Wilkins calls benzodiazepines “the snipers of ibogaine fatalities,” in the sense that they are connected to most ibogaine fatalities. Where they were not used during treatment, post-mortem toxicology reports revealed that they were still in the patient’s system. The reason for this is, again, misinformation, and the fact that most addicts will hide their benzo use just to be accepted into ibogaine treatment centres.
According to Wilkins, it really depends on which psychedelics one is talking about, how soon after the ibogaine treatment they are taken, and in what quantity, as it will be safer with some than others.
Among the more dangerous ones are MDMA, 5-Meo-DMT, ayahuasca or kambo; and while some therapists do seem to combine the above with ibogaine in some form or another, it is best to bear in mind that there are risks, and that a number, though small, of fatalities have been observed.
The fact that one may choose to micro-dose ibogaine does not in and of itself guarantee that there will be no associated risks, although they are less significant.
However, there are some people whose metabolisms just will not tolerate ibogaine. Even small doses can potentiate pre-existing heart conditions, anxiety or produce insomnia. Because ibogaine is cumulative, as it builds up over time, should one micro dose regularly, it can eventually make one feel that one has taken a much larger quantity on a particular day than one actually has.
While there have been those who have used it daily, with only one day of rest a week, Wilkins highlights the importance of temperance, and the need to allow the body, mind, and spirit to integrate, to rest, sleep and dream.