Poisoning Involving Root bark of the Tabernanthe iboga Shrub

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Wed Sep 6 20:38:24 EDT 2006


Journal of Analytical Toxicology, Volume 30, Number 7, September 2006, pp. 
434-440(7)

Distribution of Ibogaine and Noribogaine in a Man Following a Poisoning 
Involving Root bark of the Tabernanthe iboga Shrub

Authors: Kontrimaviciute, Violeta1; Mathieu, Olivier2; Mathieu-Daudé, 
Jean-Claude2; Vainauskas, Paulius3; Casper, Thierry4; Baccino, Eric5; Bressolle, 
Françoise M.M.4

Abstract:
In the present paper, we report for the first time the tissue distribution of 
ibogaine and noribogaine, the main metabolite of ibogaine, in a 48-year-old 
Caucasian male, with a history of drug abuse, found dead at his home after a 
poisoning involving the ingestion of root bark from the shrub Tabernanthe iboga. 
Ibogaine and noribogaine were quantified in tissues and fluids using a fully 
validated liquid chromatography-electrospray mass spectrometry method. Apart 
from cardiac tissue, ibogaine and
noribogaine were identified in all matrices investigated. The highest 
concentrations were found in spleen, liver, brain, and lung. The tissue/subclavian 
blood concentration ratios averaged 1.78, 3.75, 1.16, and 4.64 for ibogaine and 
0.83, 2.43, 0.90, and 2.69 for noribogaine for spleen, liver, brain, and lung, 
respectively. Very low concentrations of the two drugs were found in the 
prostatic tissue. Both ibogaine and noribogaine are secreted in the bile and cross 
the blood-brain barrier. Four other compounds were detected in most of the 
studied matrices. One of them was identified as ibogamine. Unfortunately, we 
were not able to positively identify the other three compounds because of the 
unavailability of reference substances. Two of them could possibly be attributed 
to the following oxidation products: iboluteine anddesmethoxyiboluteine. The 
third compound could be ibogaline. 

Affiliations: 1: Clinical Pharmacokinetic Laboratory, Faculty of Pharmacy, 
University Montpellier I, France; and Department of Analytical and Toxicological 
Chemistry, Kaunas University of Medicine, Faculty of Pharmacy, Kaunas, 
Lithuania 2: Toxicology Unit, Lapeyronie Hospital, Montpellier, France 3: Department 
of Analytical and Toxicological Chemistry, Kaunas University of Medicine, 
Faculty of Pharmacy, Kaunas, Lithuania 4: Clinical Pharmacokinetic Laboratory, 
Faculty of Pharmacy, University Montpellier I, France 5: Department of Legal 
Medicine, Lapeyronie Hospital, Montpellier, France
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