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The psychedelic ibogaine is unlikely to ever receive approval as a treatment for opioid addiction, the federal government’s top addiction researcher said Thursday.

The remarks from Nora Volkow, the longtime director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, serve as a cautionary note amid widespread enthusiasm about ibogaine, a naturally occurring substance that drug companies and researchers have increasingly cast as a potential paradigm-shifting addiction treatment.


But its potential cardiac side effects could stand in the way of receiving approval from the Food and Drug Administration, Volkow said.

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