Noribogaine - Ibogaine's Metabolite(12-hydroxyibogamine / desmethyl ibogaine)
What is Noribogaine?During the 1990s when one of our founders, Dr. Deborah Mash from the University of Miami’s, Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine (UMMSM), was performing the first pharmacokinetic and drug metabolism testing of ibogaine, one of the questions that needed to be answered was how could a single dose of ibogaine completely reset a drug-dependent patient’s tolerance, and then continue working for — seemingly — months of time, alleviating cravings and staving off post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS).
Within the context of what we knew at the time, ibogaine’s mode of action didn’t seem to make any sense; if a single dose of ibogaine continued to work for months of time, Mash’s group of researchers theorized that some sort of long-acting metabolite which sticks around in the body for an extended period of time, had to be present.
Dr. Mash’s team discovered that after first-pass metabolism by the liver, ibogaine was converted to m1 (metabolite 1), eventually identified as 12-hydroxyibogamine (noribogaine). Depending on how you want to view it, noribogaine is a metabolite of ibogaine, or ibogaine is a prodrug for noribogaine. Either way, the end result is the same: the ibogaine molecule itself has a very short half-life in blood, lasting only about an hour, and reaching a peak concentration within 2-4 hours (during the often intense visualization phase of ibogaine treatment). Noribogaine sticks around much longer, and acts as an extremely potent serotonin reuptake inhibitor, in effect acting like a super-sticky, long-acting form of Prozac® (without affecting dopamine reuptake).
Studies analyzing noribogaine’s efficacy in the treatment of a variety of medical conditions, including drug-dependence disorders, began in the late 1990s and are presently ongoing. Results to date are extremely positive and it appears that noribogaine shares many of the same anti-addictive and therapeutic qualities as ibogaine. Subjects dosed with noribogaine decrease self-administration of opioids, cocaine, and alcohol, while levels of GDNF (Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor) increase. GDNF has neuroprotective properties within the brain and stimulates neuronal growth. While noribogaine is not yet available as a prescription medication within the United States or elsewhere, the results to date offer tremendous hope to the countless drug-dependent individuals whose lives could be significantly improved with access to a better spectrum of pharmacotherapeutic medicines for addiction treatment.