Identifying setting factors associated with improved ibogaine safety: a systematic review of clinical studies

Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2023 Oct;273(7):1527-1542. doi: 10.1007/s00406-023-01590-1. Epub 2023 Mar 22.


Ibogaine is a psychoactive alkaloid derived from the west-African shrub Tabernanthe iboga. Western cultures are increasing the interest for the substance due to its claimed anti addictive properties, although the evidence supporting this effect is still preliminary. The use of ibogaine often occurs with no medical supervision in uncontrolled settings, and its use has been associated with several reports of severe adverse events. This review aims to evaluate the clinical studies of ibogaine, with a focus on administration settings, to elucidate specific criteria that may promote safer contexts for ibogaine use. A systematic review of the literature was conducted based on PRISMA guidelines. PubMed, Scielo, and electronic databases were searched, and clinical studies published until November 17, 2022, were retrieved. The final synthesis included 12 sources. Information about general characteristics of the studies, adverse effects, screening of participants and setting characteristics were summarized and discussed. It is concluded that the use of controlled settings, supported by trained professionals and equipment allowing for rigorous medical, psychiatric, and cardiac monitoring, are essential to promote the safety of patients receiving ibogaine.

Keywords: Ibogaine; Noribogaine; Safety; Setting.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Behavior, Addictive*
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions*
  • Humans
  • Ibogaine* / adverse effects


  • Ibogaine