Effects of Ibogaine
Short term effects of Ibogaine given in therapeutic doses for chemical detoxification and psychotherapy may last as long as 24-48 hours. Every reported experience is unique, however common elements are reported. It is understood that taking the time to prepare for the experience by having positive intentions or goals for the outcome, being dedicated to exploring what you need to heal in your life, feeling safe in your surroundings and feeling supported by the people caring for you will generally have a positive effect on the outcome.
Its psychoactive effects have been described as "oneirogenic" (or oneirophrenic) meaning that which produces a waking or lucid dream-like state of consciousness. In fact, EEG (electroencephalogram) studies of brainwave rhythms in animals suggest that ibogaine causes REM (rapid eye movement portion of dreaming/sleep) -type patterns.
This oneirogenic process is characterized by visual phenomena that some people experience as vivid dreams, reflections or memories. It has been described by some people that ibogaine may help emotionally and psychologically by enabling a process whereby they are able to to think about their lives from a perspective that seems more objective. Some have described that this process facilitated by ibogaine allows them to think about their lives without fear, shame, guilt and other feelings associated with trauma that people in crises are often affected by.
It should be noted that not all people who take ibogaine report having dreams or dreamlike visions yet may still find the ibogaine to have long-lasting therapeutic effects on psychological, emotional, spiritual and physical levels.
Ibogaine does not cause any loss of consciousness or depersonalization. Also, it can be noted that although some have previously described ibogaine as a "hallucinogen", ibogaine's effect on neurotransmission is different from the effects of classical psychedelics or hallucinogens such as LSD (see: Mechanisms of Action).
Its physical effects are different for every person. Some reports include feeling light-headedness, sensitivity to movement, sound and light and a sense of oscillation or vibration.
Possible Side Effects
Some possible discomforts or side effects typically associated with therapeutic doses of ibogaine include: ataxia (temporary loss of muscle coordination), mild tremors (shaking), photosensitivity (sensitivity to light), nausea, vomiting, slight changes in blood pressure, sometimes slight back pain (possibly due to lying down for a prolonged period of time, pre-existing back pain issues and/or the lack of adequate stretching beforehand) and possible sleeplessness (particularly in opiate dependent individuals).
The potential for side effects and risks can be substantially minimized by avoiding any contraindicated substances prior to and during therapy, proper medical screening for any pre-existing contraindicated conditions, careful monitoring of vital signs, adequate hydration with water and electrolytes prior to and during ibogaine therapy, laying down in a semi-darkened room in a comfortable position and compassionate support before during and after therapy.
Any side effects experienced subside (fade away/stop) 24-48 hours after the onset of therapy and can be greatly differentiated from painful withdrawal symptoms from chemical dependence, which should be greatly reduced or removed through the action of the ibogaine.
Long Term Effects
Long term effects may include reduced anxiety, improved mood, decreased cravings, and increased energy. Some people report having difficulty with sleep for a short period of time (particularly those who have withdrawn from opiates). Most people report feeling these effects from between 2 weeks to 3 months or longer. Thus far, no long term adverse effects have been reported.
To learn more about the acute phases of the ibogaine experience, please see the following:
Ibogaine's Phases of Effects
For a more detailed description of how ibogaine works:
Mechanisms of Action