What are some Ibogaine warnings and contra-indications?
Contra-indications. It means, stuff that you shouldn’t/can’t do with something else. In this case, stuff you can’t do when you plan to take ibogaine.
This is an important topic and worth the time to look over. There really isn’t a ton of ibogaine warnings but there are a few. It’s important to know what they are before you take ibogaine so you make sure to stay safe.
So, what are they?
Using during treatment
This is hands down the most important of all ibogaine warnings or ibogaine contra-indications. It means sure DEATH. Yes, death. Do Not use opiates or any other substance during Ibogaine. You will die.
The only exception to this is if you are taking a Benzodiazapam or Diazapam. These classes of drugs can be continued straight through ibogaine. Infact, it’s important to continue taking these if you already have been because to go off cold turkey could cause you a seizure-but that’s another topic.
Hear me on this one people…do not use during Ibogaine!
Taking Suboxone/Subutex or Methadone
While you can still take Ibogaine if you’re on either of these prescriptions, you just have to go about it differently. You can’t take ibogaine right away. You MUST switch to a short acting opiate for a minimum of three weeks first. Due to the long acting nature of these three medications they stay in your body for a long time and you will still end up with withdrawals and cravings if you don’t switch to something else first.
We have people who do this all the time before they come down with no trouble.
Bergamont and Grapefruit
These two things prolong your QT interval (the electricity in your heart) which is contraindicated with Ibogaine. So make sure you don’t have either of these the week before you take ibogaine. Bergamont is in Earl Grey tea.
Having liver problems
Ibogaine is metabolized by the liver, so if you have liver problems it’s important to tell your provider. Ibogaine is a big load on your liver, so depending on what kind of problems you have and how sever they are this may mean you have to do a slower treatment or can’t do treatment at all. At the Sunrise Center we’d still be willing to work with you, we would just have a slightly altered plan. For sure tell someone if this is you!
A long QT interval
Sometime people naturally have a long QT interval, or medications they’re taking creates a longer interval. This is contraindicated with ibogaine if your provider doesn’t know about it first. So, tell them if you know that you have a long QT. But, if you don’t know, don’t worry. Every good center will take an EKG before beginning Ibogaine Treatment and the EKG will catch this longer interval if you have it.
These are the primary ibogaine warnings and contraindications. There aren’t that many and as long as you communicate with your provider you should be able to take ibogaine regardless. These are outlined here so you can help your provider keep you safe. Safe Ibogaine treatments are important, so help your provider out and tell them if you have one of these indications.
This is what GITA has to say about contra-indications for ibogaine:
It is crucial that patients with childhood congenital heart defects, prolong QT intervals, a history of heart failure, enlarged heart, any history of blood clots, stroke, transient ischemic attacks, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, or irregular heart rhythms do not attempt to take ibogaine because of these risks. Other pre-existing heart conditions should be carefully examined and a risk/benefit assessment taken into consideration.
Other conditions that should prevent someone from taking ibogaine are certain psychiatric conditions, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depersonalization disorder, cerebellar dysfunction, epilepsy, non-substance induced psychosis, organic brain disease, and dementia. While there may be exceptions, these conditions usually do not see an improvement, and could be exacerbated by taking ibogaine.
Impaired liver or kidney function, dehydration, and depleted electrolytes can also prevent serious risks.
Ibogaine does not attenuate withdrawal symptoms from alcohol or benzodiazepines, and seizures, which are commonly associated with withdrawal from these substances, pose a substantial health risk. It is very important that acute alcohol detox be completed under medical supervision prior to taking ibogaine, and that benzodiazepine use be stabilized and continued throughout the treatment. Detoxification from benzodiazepines should be managed by a gradual taper after ibogaine treatment, under the supervision of a medical professional.
One of the other causes cited in research on adverse events is ibogaine ability to potentiate the effects of opiates, as well as their lethality if co-administered. It does this not by acting as an opiate agonist or antagonist, but by enhancing opiate signaling.2 It is very important that substances are given an opportunity to fully leave the system before ibogaine is administered, and that half-lives of all substances are taken into careful consideration. This process is especially sensitive with long-acting opiates such as methadone and buprenorphine. Although many people seek out ibogaine treatment for its ability to mitigate withdrawal symptoms from short-acting opiates, it has been suggested that the safest route is to fully detox prior to ingesting ibogaine.
In addition to attenuating withdrawal symptoms, ibogaine has been shown to reduce developed tolerance to opiates3 and alcohol,4 essentially returning the user to a novice state. Using substances after administration of ibogaine without taking this into consideration presents a significant risk of overdose.
Read the full article here…
GITA is a highly respected entity in the ibogaine world by me and by many other providers. That being said, I don’t agree with everything they stated in their article. For instance, I’ve seen people who have bi-polar disorder, psychosis and other emotional disorders like this obtain great relief from a retreat with ibogaine. Not only relief, but also an absence of symptoms that previously we unbearable and life altering.
Take all of these above recommendations seriously, your safety depends on you being upfront and honest. Ibogaine is safe as long as all the information is given to your provider ahead of time.