Phenibut is a health supplement that puts you in a calmer state of mind and lets you sleep better.
But is it as effective as people say, and is it safe?
We'll answer these questions and more in our Phenibut review, starting with a quick look into the drug.
What Is Phenibut?
Developed in Russia in the 1960s, Phenibut [R] is a central nervous system depressant for treating insomnia and anxiety. Some also use it to treat depression, motion sickness, stuttering, and alcoholism [R].
While it’s available by prescription in Latvia, Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan, it’s not approved for medical use in Europe and North America. That’s because of the drug’s potential for overdose, addiction, and other side effects. Nonetheless, many people in the US use it recreationally for its benefits as a nootropic.
How Does It Work?
Phenibut is popular among many users for its effectiveness at reducing anxiety and stress and increasing social fluency. The drug delivers these effects due to its unique nature as an analog of the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).
GABA is a brain chemical that restricts impulses between the brain’s nerve cells. That means unlike glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter that makes you more hyper or active, GABA makes you feel more relaxed.
GABA can be taken on its own as a supplement, but it'll have less of an effect since it can't cross the blood-brain barrier. Phenibut, on the other hand, can cross the blood-brain barrier and bind to GABA receptors in the brain, making it more potent.
It activates your brain's GABA receptors, creating a sense of relaxation and reducing anxiety by calming neural activity.
Another potent effect of Phenibut is stimulating dopamine receptors. Because dopamine is a brain chemical that makes people feel good, using Phenibut to increase dopamine levels causes feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. Combine this with the effect of the drug on GABA receptors, and you have the perfect cocktail to experience euphoria and reduce social anxiety.
These potent effects lead many people to abuse the drug as a calmative, euphoria-inducing, or anti-anxiety substance.
What Is It Used For?
Phenibut gets into the bloodstream after being metabolized by the liver. Depending on a person's physiology, it can take 2-4 hours after ingestion to cross the blood-brain barrier. Depending on the amount you select, the drug's duration of action can be five hours or more.
Because of its effectiveness for alleviating moods, reducing stress and anxiety levels, and calming the nervous system, the drug is useful as a sleeping aid, anti-depressant, and anti-anxiety medication. Some also use it to treat speech impediments such as stammering.
Effects & Benefits
Due to its various effects, you can use it for the following:
Originally, it was for treating anxiety-related disorders. It excels at this purpose, and Russian medical professionals widely prescribe it as a social anxiety reducer. You can use it to alleviate fear, tension, depression, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and asthenia. You can also use it as a calmative pre- or post-operative medication.
There are several human studies regarding its effectiveness as an anti-anxiety medication. One particularly popular study showed that the drug could reduce tension headaches. It involved giving 30 children daily doses for two months.
While many users claim that Phenibut can boost cognitive capabilities, there is a shortage of research that supports this claim. But the few studies that do exist are quite convincing, such as the one-month study involving 50 ADHD adolescents receiving daily doses of 500-700 mg. At the end of the study, there was an improvement in the participants’ sustained attention, self-control, and acoustic-verbal memory.
Many users also claim that the nootropic properties of the drug make the mind sharper and increases motivation. But some users claim the drug’s calming and soothing effects make concentrating on tasks difficult.
Doctors in Russia commonly prescribe Phenibut for insomnia treatment. Reports from users regarding the effectiveness of the drug for this purpose is mixed. Some claim that in low doses it improves their sleep, while others claim using the drug makes sleeping difficult.
Dosage & How to Take
Phenibut isn’t that pricey. Its low cost and easy access increase its potential for abuse, especially for those who use it for its euphoric or calming effects. To avoid the adverse effects of it, you should use it only in proper doses.
We recommend playing it safe by starting with the lowest effective dose. If there’s a need, you can gradually increase the dose to get the desired effect. Since everyone’s physiology is different, the lowest safe dose will vary from individual to individual.
For anxiety treatment, the recommended dose on most labels is 250-500 milligrams (mg) three times daily. If you are under 60 years old, you can use a maximum single dose of 750 mg.
While experimenting with doses, avoid going beyond 4000mg of Phenibut a week. Taking anymore increases the risk of suffering an overdose or building a tolerance or dependence.
If you do develop dependence, you'll experience withdrawal symptoms. Also, taking higher-than-necessary doses can lead to unpleasant effects, which we’ll discuss shortly.
To minimize the risk of developing a dependence or experiencing other side-effects, you should cycle your use of Phenibut and not use it continuously.
Also, taking Phenibut while using machinery can affect your concentration and lead to accidents. Plus, users may experience reduced impulse control and alcohol tolerance.
If you are on any medication, such as anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medication, or other drugs from the SSRI family, talk to your doctor before using this.
Phenibut is controversial because of its potential to cause dependency. If dependency occurs, a user will experience intense withdrawal symptoms, which may require professional help to overcome.
Withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Profuse sweating
- Intense craving for a Phenibut dose
If you start experiencing withdrawal symptoms before your next Phenibut dose, begin “tapering” off your dosage.
Gradually reducing your doses by 25 percent each week will wean you off the drug with minimal withdrawal symptoms. If you suddenly stop instead of tapering off, the withdrawal symptoms can be intense and overwhelming.
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If you have an addictive personality or have a history of substance abuse, you should not use this at all. Signs you may be getting addicted include:
- Rationalizing using the drug more frequently
- Making excuses to use the drug more often when you don't need it
- Continuously going beyond your required dose
Because Phenibut is unregulated in the USA, there's no general guideline regarding dosage. As such, many people don't know how much to use, resulting in accidental overdoses. An overdose can also occur due to a buildup of tolerance.
As tolerance increases, you will have to use higher doses of Phenibut to experience the desired effect. Doing this can lead you to use a dose that's higher than what your body can tolerate, resulting in an overdose.
An overdose can be fatal, depending on the overdose amount, physiology of the user, and whether or not the user is on any other medication. To be safe, stay within the recommended dose limits, use the drug cyclically, and don’t combine its use with substances like alcohol that might intensify Phenibut’s effect.
Here are what some Reddit users have to say about their experience using Phenibut:
According to rosamundi1975:
“…For me, 1500 is indeed a high dose and the most I’ve ever taken. I had nightmares for 2 nights after and severe anxiety. That being said, before I came off of it, I was feeling mighty fine! 500 to 750 is perfect for an avg sized woman”
According to u/doncheadle13
“…I’ve been using Phenibut for awhile now and it really makes me realize how cynical I can be sometimes. Phenibut can really get you back on track if you ever lose your way. sometimes I really do lose a little bit of motivation in life, a little bit of phenibut can remind you what’s good in life, how simple life can be, and how much fun you really can have...”
According to whistlespeaker:
“…For me, it took the edge off. Not dissimilar to being stoned. I loved taking it. It was a great treatment for anxiety, for me. It allowed me to work through some personal things without feeling overwhelmed. It worked better than Xanax ever did. It was smoother, and lasts longer, wile being "non-narcotic." The doses did become less effective, for me, over time, and I found myself and my psychiatrist continually chasing a larger dose…"
Best Phenibut Stacks
Stacking means combining two or more nootropic supplements to amplify the effect of each. By stacking Phenibut with the right supplements, you can get even better results from using the drug. But remember that your stack combination will determine the type of results you get.
Stack for Mood and Anxiety
For those extra stressful days, you can amplify Phenibut’s anti-anxiety effect and improve sleep by stacking it with Phosphatidylserine and Bacopa Monnieri.
The recommended stack dose for this combination is 100 mg Phosphatidylserine, 300 mg Bacopa Monnieri, and 250 mg Phenibut. But remember not to use it for several days in a row as it can lead to an increased risk of tolerance and dependence.
Stack for Athletic Recovery
If you want that extra boost during your workouts and quick recovery afterward, combining Phenibut with L-theanine and Centrophenoxine makes for a superb recovery stack. It will boost your endurance, reduce body soreness, and increase your energy levels, enabling you to work out longer and harder.
The recommended dose for this stack is 200 mg L-Theanine, 250 mg Phenibut, and 250 mg Centrophenoxine.
Where to Buy Phenibut?
The quality of a drug goes a long way in determining its potency and safety. It’s even more so when the drug in question is unregulated. For a reliable seller that consistently delivers quality batches of Phenibut, we recommend Science.bio.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Your questions answered.
What Does It Feel Like?
According to users, using Phenibut feels like being drunk (euphoria and an improved sense of wellbeing), but without the grogginess or reduced motor skills that come with alcohol use.
It also boosts confidence and social skills, enabling you to socialize more freely.
How Long for Phenibut to Kick In?
How long it will take depends on your physiology and if you’ve used the drug with other substances. But generally, you can expect the drug to start taking effect after two or three hours.
How Long Does It Last?
Again, this depends on your physiology and how you use the drug. But generally, it has a half-life of five hours.
When Does Withdrawal Start?
If you have developed a dependence on the drug, Phenibut withdrawal symptoms will typically manifest around 24 hours after your last dose. Once withdrawal starts, the symptoms will continue to intensify until you take another dose.
How Long Does Withdrawal Last?
The biggest symptom withdrawal is an unrelenting need to use more Phenibut. That and other symptoms, such as nausea, hallucinations, anxiety, depression, and more, can last for days.
How to Make It Work Faster?
You can speed up the onset by taking it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. If you use it sublingually, it’ll work even faster. Using it alongside caffeine or Theanine will also make it work more quickly.
How Long Does It Stay in Your System?
Based on its average half-life of around five hours, the total elimination time is typically about 26 hours.
How Often Can You Take It?
Do not use it more than twice a week. A safe dosage is around 250-1000mg twice a week. But never use over 1000mg in a single go.
Does It Help with Sleep?
Depending on the dose, Phenibut’s sedative-like properties can help you relax and sleep better.
Does It Really Work for Anxiety?
Because Phenibut boosts dopamine levels in the brain, it is good at suppressing central nervous system responses that cause anxiety and nervousness. The fact that it makes users feel good and calm also helps with overcoming anxiousness.
While this compound is great for boosting your confidence, feeling good, and treating anxiety and depression, the drug’s potential for dependence makes its use tricky.
If you can stick with the recommended dose and don’t have a history of substance abuse, you can give the supplement a try for its benefits.
But if you have an addictive personality or are already on other medication, then perhaps Phenibut isn’t for you.