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Addict Biol. 2014 Mar;19(2):237-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1369-1600.2012.00447.x. Epub 2012 Mar 28.

Anti-addiction drug ibogaine inhibits hERG channels: a cardiac arrhythmia risk.

Author information

  • 1Center for Physiology and Pharmacology, Department of Neurophysiology and Pharmacology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria Center for Physiology and Pharmacology, Institute of Pharmacology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Abstract

Ibogaine, an alkaloid derived from the African shrub Tabernanthe iboga, has shown promising anti-addictive properties in animals. Anecdotal evidence suggests that ibogaine is also anti-addictive in humans. Thus, it alleviates drug craving and impedes relapse of drug use. Although not licensed as therapeutic drug, and despite evidence that ibogaine may disturb the rhythm of the heart, this alkaloid is currently used as an anti-addiction drug in alternative medicine. Here, we report that therapeutic concentrations of ibogaine reduce currents through human ether-a-go-go-related gene potassium channels. Thereby, we provide a mechanism by which ibogaine may generate life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias.

KEYWORDS:

Anti-addiction drug; QT interval prolongation; cardiac arrhythmias; hERG potassium channels; ibogaine; indole alkaloid

PMID:
22458604
PMCID:
PMC4888945
DOI:
10.1111/j.1369-1600.2012.00447.x
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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