Stresam: Review of Nootropic Benefits, Uses, Dosage, & Side Effects

Updated on February 29, 2024
 by — reviewed by Jason Williams, PhD (Contributor: George Collins / Editor: Yoko Hill)
Overview of Stresam's nootropic benefits and potential side effects.

In the complex landscape of anxiolytic medications, Stresam®, a potent non-benzodiazepine anxiolytic, has garnered significant attention for its unique mechanism of action and efficacy in treating anxiety disorders. This article delves into the intricacies of Stresam, known generically as etifoxine hydrochloride, a benzoxazine derivative offering a promising alternative to traditional benzodiazepines. 

However, as with any medication, the effective use of Stresam requires adherence to recommended dosages and a thorough understanding of potential side effects, including rare skin reactions like Stevens-Johnson syndrome.

This review aims to provide comprehensive insights into the use of Stresam, its dosage recommendations, and clinical efficacy, alongside an evaluation of its safety profile. 

By examining new clinical studies, we endeavor to offer a balanced perspective on this anti-anxiety medication’s role in the modern therapeutic arsenal against anxiety disorders.

What is Stresam?

Stresam (also known as etifoxine) is a medicine primarily known for its anxiolytic activity, which refers to its ability to reduce tension and anxiety with the ability to promote peripheral nerve healing along with a calming effect on the nervous system. 

The active ingredient in Stresam is etifoxine, also known by its chemical name diethyl-etifoxine. It functions not only as an anxiolytic but also has the properties of an anticonvulsant drug, which can help in controlling seizures, although its primary use is in the treatment of anxiety.

The medication works by enhancing the action of GABA, a neurotransmitter in the brain that promotes calmness. This increased action of GABA leads to reduced anxiety and tension in patients. Stresam is distinct from traditional anxiolytic drugs in that it does not belong to the benzodiazepine class, which is commonly associated with a higher risk of dependence and side effects.

It’s important to note that Stresam contains lactose, so if you have lactose intolerance or other related conditions you should consult your doctor provider before using this medication.

Additionally, Stresam is metabolized into several compounds, including an active metabolite that contributes to its anxiolytic effects. This metabolite is part of the process that helps to alleviate symptoms of anxiety in patients.

In summary, its unique compound diethyl-etifoxine, offers anxiolytic activity with the added benefit of anticonvulsant properties, making it a versatile medicine for those experiencing social anxiety disorder and tension.


  • Effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety
  • Unlike other anxiolytics, stresam generally does not cause significant sedation or drowsiness
  • Lower risk of dependence and withdrawal symptoms compared to benzodiazepines
  • A fast on-set


  • Not suitable for those younger than 18 years old
  • Not suitable for those with lactose intolerance

Mechanism of Action

Stresam operates through a dual mechanism of action, primarily used for the treatment of stress and anxiety. Its active substance, etifoxine, facilitates its anxiolytic effects in a manner distinct from traditional benzodiazepines.

The primary mechanism of Stresam involves modulating the GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) system, a key neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for inhibiting nerve transmission and reducing neuronal excitability. This modulation results in a calming effect on the central nervous system, alleviating symptoms of stress and anxiety.

Stresam (etifoxine) has a unique mechanism of action that involves the modulation of neurosteroid levels in the brain, specifically impacting the synthesis of allopregnanolone. Allopregnanolone is a neurosteroid derived from progesterone, known for its potent effects on the GABA-A receptors, like benzodiazepines.

However, unlike benzodiazepines, which bind directly to the GABA receptor, Stresam binds to a different site on the receptor complex, enhancing the natural effects of GABA without the significant sedative effects often associated with benzodiazepines.(1) Stresam is thought to interact with the β2 or β3 subunits of the GABA-A receptor. This interaction facilitates an increase in GABA-induced chloride ion flow, which contributes to its anxiolytic effects that reduce anxiety levels.

In addition to its interaction with the GABA system, one metabolite of Stresam (etifoxine) is etifoxine’s hydroxyethyl derivative. When Stresam is ingested, it undergoes metabolism in the liver, where it is transformed into several metabolites.

This hydroxyethyl derivative is one of the primary metabolites formed during this process and is also excreted in urine in an unchanged form. This allows for a lower risk of dependency and withdrawal symptoms.

In summary, Stresam’s mechanism of action, through its dual modulation of the GABA system and its metabolism into several active metabolites, makes it an effective treatment for anxiety and stress, with a safety profile that is generally considered favorable compared to traditional benzodiazepines. However, monitoring for potential hypersensitivity reactions is crucial for safe use.

Nootropic Benefits of Stresam

Stresam, known for its efficacy in the treatment of anxiety disorders, offers several nootropic benefits due to its unique mechanism of action. Primarily used by patients with anxiety, Stresam, containing the active ingredient etifoxine, functions differently from traditional anxiolytics like lorazepam.

It acts as a positive allosteric modulator at specific receptor sites and influences the translocator protein, impacting cognitive functions positively. These effects, observed in both in vitro and in vivo studies, suggest that Stresam can aid in cognitive enhancement while managing anxiety disorders.

Here is an overview of Stresam’s nootropic benefits.

1. Enhanced Cognitive Function

Patients with anxiety who are using Stresam to treat stress disorders often experience an improvement in cognitive functions. Anxiety can significantly impair concentration and memory, and by alleviating these symptoms, Stresam helps restore these cognitive abilities.(2)

2. Increased Efficacy in Anxiety Management

The effects of etifoxine, the active ingredient in Stresam, are notable in the management of various anxiety disorders. Its effectiveness in reducing anxiety symptoms helps patients to focus better and engage more efficiently in daily tasks. Etifoxine binds to the GABAgenic binding site and promotes a calm feeling for those showing signs of anxiety.(3)

3. Positive Impact on Adjustment Disorders

For those suffering from adjustment disorders with anxiety, Stresam can be particularly beneficial. It helps in modulating the response to stress, leading to improved coping mechanisms and better overall mental clarity.

4. Modulation of Translocator Protein

Stresam acts as a modulator of the translocator protein, which plays a role in the synthesis of neurosteroids that are crucial for brain function. This modulation can lead to improved neurological health, neuroprotection, and improved cognitive performance.(4)

5. Reduced Risk of Withdrawal Symptoms

Unlike lorazepam and other benzodiazepines, taking Stresam does not pose a high risk of dependency or withdrawal syndrome over time.(5) This makes it a safer option for long-term use, particularly important for patients requiring ongoing treatment for anxiety disorders.

Uses of Stresam

Stresam (Etifoxine) is a medicene with a duel mechanism of action that allows for multiple uses. Here’s a list of the key uses of stresam: 

  • Treatment of Anxiety Disorders: Primarily used to reduce symptoms in patients with anxiety.
  • Anxiolytic Action: Acts as an anti-anxiety medication without the sedative effects common in other anxiolytics.
  • Modulation of GABAergic System: Works by enhancing the action of GABA, a neurotransmitter that helps control feelings of anxiety.
  • Peripheral Nerve Healing: Unique among anxiolytics for its role in promoting nerve health.

Where to Buy Stresam

Primarily available in a Stresam 50mg dosage form, these capsules wield their therapeutic power through the modulation of GABAergic systems, alongside influencing neurosteroid activity within the central nervous system.

Product information can be found on our top pick for the best online retailer, Here, you can easily purchase high-quality, third-party-tested products and have it shipped right to your door. 

Stresam Dosage

The usual dosage of the drug Stresam depends on the severity of the anxiety disorder and the patient’s overall health condition. It’s important for patients to follow the recommended dosage and consult with their doctor for any adjustments or if they experience any adverse effects.

However, a recommended dose is 50 mg, taken three times a day. This dose can be increased to 100 mg three times a day if needed.

Remember to take your dose of stresam during the day so that it can be felt when you need it most. This is especially important when stresam is used to treat anxiety disorders.

In case of a missed dose, the general rule for most medications is to take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosing schedule.

Stresam Side Effects and Safety

While Stresam is well-tolerated, potential side effects can include:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Skin reactions
  • In very rare cases, hypersensitivity reactions, including skin and liver issues

Safety Note: While first taking the drug, the concentration of the active substance and its metabolites in the blood plays a crucial role in its efficacy. However, it’s important to be aware of potential hypersensitivity reactions, such as urticaria (hives), vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels), Erythema (red rash on the skin), and in rare cases, severe reactions like Stevens-Johnson syndrome. This is especially the case for individuals with pre-existing conditions like galactosemia.

Additionally, it’s recommended to not ingest alcohol into your gastrointestinal system during your days of taking Stresam. This could lead to reduced kidney function and liver problems.


Stresam (Etifoxine) is an effective anxiolytic medication praised for its ability to reduce symptoms of anxiety without the sedative side effects commonly associated with other anti-anxiety drugs. It works by modulating the GABAergic system, enhancing the action of GABA, a key neurotransmitter in anxiety control. Unique among anxiolytics, Stresam also promotes peripheral nerve healing.

Typically prescribed in 50mg capsules, it is well-tolerated with a low risk of dependency, a significant advantage over traditional benzodiazepines.

However, it’s important to use Stresam under medical supervision to manage dosages and monitor any potential side effects.

Remember to consult with your doctor before you use stresam in order make the most out of this stress and anxiety treatment option.


How long does Stresam take to work?

The effects of Stresam can be noticed within 2-3 hours after intake. However, for full therapeutic effects, consistent use over several days to weeks may be required.

What is the elimination half-life of Stresam?

The elimination half-life is about 6 hours. This means it takes around 6 hours for half of the drug’s concentration in the blood to be expelled from the body. The maximum concentration of the drug is usually out the body within 12 hours and is mainly excreted in the urine as metabolites.

Should you cycle Stresam?

There’s no specific requirement to cycle Stresam. However, it should not be used for a prolonged period without medical supervision. Always consult a healthcare provider for guidance.

Can I stack Stresam with other nootropics?

Stresam can potentially be combined with other nootropics. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider to avoid adverse interactions.

How should I store Stresam?

Stresam should be stored at room temperature, away from heat and moisture. Always keep it out of the reach of children and pets.

Sources, Studies, and Scientific Research
  1. do Rego, Jean Luc et al. “The non-benzodiazepine anxiolytic drug etifoxine causes a rapid, receptor-independent stimulation of neurosteroid biosynthesis.” PloS one vol. 10,3 e0120473. 18 Mar. 2015, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0120473 ↩
  2. Choi, Yun Mi, and Kyung Hoon Kim. “Etifoxine for pain patients with anxiety.” The Korean journal of pain vol. 28,1 (2015): 4-10. doi:10.3344/kjp.2015.28.1.4 ↩
  3. Nuss, Philippe. “Anxiety disorders and GABA neurotransmission: a disturbance of modulation.” Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment vol. 11 165-75. 17 Jan. 2015, doi:10.2147/NDT.S58841 ↩
  4. Nuss, Philippe et al. “An update on the anxiolytic and neuroprotective properties of etifoxine: from brain GABA modulation to a whole-body mode of action.” Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment vol. 15 1781-1795. 3 Jul. 2019, doi:10.2147/NDT.S200568 ↩
  5. Nguyen, N et al. “Efficacy of etifoxine compared to lorazepam monotherapy in the treatment of patients with adjustment disorders with anxiety: a double-blind controlled study in general practice.” Human psychopharmacology vol. 21,3 (2006): 139-49. doi:10.1002/hup.757 ↩