THE ORLANDO SENTINEL
November 17, 1993 Wednesday, 3 STAR
SECTION: A SECTION; Pg. A14
LOAD-DATE-MDX: November 20, 1993
LENGTH: 160 words
HEADLINE: RESEARCHERS SAY 1 DRUG MAY CURE OTHER ADDICTIONS
BODY: An ancient and illegal hallucinogenic herb that was popular during the 1960s is under study as a potential treatment for heroin and cocaine addiction, government-backed researchers said Tuesday.
Reporting to the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists in Orlando, University of Kentucky researchers said they had developed stable oral and injectable forms of the drug ibogaine HCL.
Scientists established long ago that ibogaine, which occurs naturally in the root bark of an African shrub, can reduce the craving for cocaine and heroin, said the university’s Dr. Ram Murty.
But because the extract had a tendency to oxidize and break down, it could not be tested for potential use in treating drug addiction.
Murty said he and his colleagues have found a way to stabilize the drug, by adding the chemical disodium EDTA. That enabled them to produce tablets, capsules and injectable liquid ibogaine, which retain their potency.