Fatal case of a 27-year-old male after taking iboga in withdrawal treatment: GC-MS/MS determination of ibogaine and ibogamine in iboga roots and postmortem biological material

J Forensic Sci. 2013 Nov;58(6):1666-72. doi: 10.1111/1556-4029.12250. Epub 2013 Aug 6.


We report the case of a man who died twelve hours after ingesting powdered iboga root, commonly taken for its stimulant and hallucinogenic properties. Ibogaine and ibogamine were quantified in the powder ingested and the victim's body fluids by GC-MS/MS after liquid-liquid extraction (Toxi-tubes A(®)). The concentrations of ibogaine measured in the blood samples taken at the scene and in the peripheral blood, urine, and gastric fluid samples taken during the autopsy were 0.65, 1.27, 1.7, and 53.5 μg/mL, while the iboga content in the powder was 7.2%. Moreover, systematic toxicological analyses of biological samples showed the presence of diazepam and methadone in therapeutic concentrations. Death was attributed to the ingestion of a substantial quantity of iboga in the context of simultaneous methadone and diazepam consumption.

Keywords: Tabernanthe iboga; forensic science; forensic toxicology; gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry; ibogaine; ibogamine; poisoning.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bridged-Ring Compounds / analysis*
  • Bridged-Ring Compounds / chemistry
  • Bridged-Ring Compounds / poisoning
  • Diazepam / analysis
  • Forensic Toxicology
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Gastrointestinal Contents / chemistry
  • Hallucinogens / analysis*
  • Hallucinogens / poisoning*
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / analysis
  • Ibogaine / analysis*
  • Ibogaine / chemistry
  • Ibogaine / poisoning
  • Male
  • Methadone / analysis
  • Molecular Structure
  • Narcotics / analysis
  • Opiate Substitution Treatment
  • Plant Roots / chemistry
  • Powders
  • Tabernaemontana / poisoning*


  • Bridged-Ring Compounds
  • Hallucinogens
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Narcotics
  • Powders
  • ibogamine
  • Ibogaine
  • Diazepam
  • Methadone