Phenibut - both calming and stimulating?

Hey everyone,

We have a new educational video on our channel! Come check it out! The qualified MD from the previous videos will be talking about the Phenibut this time.

Surprisingly enough Phenibut has both calming effect and improves cognitive capabilities. That is one of the reasons why it is widely used by the Russian doctors to treat ADHD.  


The review is given by the doctor-psychotherapist of the highest category with the years of practice, Candidate of Medical Sciences: Galushchak Alexander Vasilievich

Below you can find the transcript of the video

Stay safe! 

Your CosmicNootropic team 

Full transcript:


Irina Lisitsyna: - "Phenibut" is a very interesting nootropic drug, because it combines two opposite effects. On one hand, it has calming effects, on the other hand, it activates the brain. Therefore, it is prescribed for both hyperactivity and lethargy. How can we better understand the effects of this drug?

Galushchak Alexander Vasilievitch: - Nootropics are a very peculiar group of drugs. They improve brain function, and have been shown to boost activity. They stimulate the nervous system, giving energy to neurons. Therefore, when we say "nootropics"… Well, even the name of the drug itself, "Nootropil"… it is a kind of basic drug, but there are also such drugs as "Aminalon", "Encephalbol", "Piritinol" - These are drugs that are widely applied in neurology and psychiatry. Nootropil recently became one of the most used drugs among this group of nootropics, because it has a unique effect, which is sometimes difficult to explain, but in fact, it treats the nervous system, and corrects restlessness and confusion.  This drug not only neutralizes hyperactivity, but it also treats anxiety. That's how anxiolytics work - these kind of drugs heal anxiety - and this drug does it too. It manifests three effects: it activates, it makes thinking clearer, it treats anxiety, restlessness and, hyperactivity. It can be used to treat adolescents, children, and adults too. It’s also an effective treatment for senior patients.

Irina Lisitsyna: But according to the indications "Phenibut" can only be used from the age of eight. Well, in practice, pediatricians prescribe it even to infants. So from what age can you take Phenibut?

Galushchak Alexander Vasilievitch: - Instructions of use are strict, and we, as doctors, should know that the indications must be strictly obeyed. When insurance is involved, we should follow the rules exactly. Experimentation is not acceptable. Indeed, all drugs shouldь be administered at the proper dosage according to certain guidelines. In general, we should never violate these guidelines and indications. However, given that pediatricians working in hospitals have a lot of professional experience, we can respect their judgment in cases where they prescribe this medication. Pediatricians are special doctors. They really understand children, so in the case that they prescribe this drug to children under the age of eight, we can trust them to administer a dose at a safe level. But any drug, including this one, is not recommended for women who are breastfeeding or pregnant. So who determines these cases? We believe if the pediatrician administers this drug to a child at an earlier age than advised, then it is recommended that the parents, the mothers, discuss this prescription with a supervisor, so the pediatrician can refer to another professional or a group of experienced doctors. If another pediatrician approves the prescription, and can prove its necessity, then we believe it is reasonable to make an exception to the indications. Past experience has shown that some indications are then reconsidered, as time progresses, our knowledge evolves and naturally we stop using some drugs. Amidopyrine, for example, was used by our grandmothers for a really long time. We don’t administer it anymore, along with a number of other drugs, even though at the time they were seen as essential drugs.

Therefore, if pediatricians decide to prescribe Phenibut to children, it is necessary to take their experience into account.

Irina Lisitsyna: It's just that children sometimes have adverse reactions to this drug. For example adventitious movements and insomnia. Moreover, some mothers complain that their child gets out of control and behaves even worse than before taking the drug. If this happens, should you stop taking Phenibut abruptly?

Galushchak Alexander Vasilievitch: - So, in pediatrics, as well as in medicine in general, when a new drug is prescribed, we do an injection, we perform a biological test, as you have probably heard. Diluted drug is first injected under the skin in to see if there will be an individual biological reaction to it. If this reaction is stronger than it should be, the drug is not administered. We call this a biological assay, or a bioassay. This is common practice when prescribing some drugs: a child goes with his mother to the pediatrician, and the pediatrician asks: "Does your child suffer from drug allergies?" If there is a certain drug that provoked an allergic reaction in the past, the doctor will not only exclude that drug, but will generally be more cautious with prescriptions in the event that the child has other allergies. The doctor then performs a bioassay, he gives this drug to the patient in a small dosage. If there are no allergic reactions, the doctor can administer this drug. If there are any side effects – the drug is not administered. This is all on an individual basis. We may monitor the patient for another 12 to 24 hours, and if we observe that the symptoms intensify, we can conclude that this drug should not be used and begin looking at alternative treatments.

Irina Lisitsyna: Parents also often want to know how long the course of treatment will be. The indications say that continuous intake of Phenibut should not exceed a month, but, again, the  doctors show a tendency to prescribe children a three-month course, and this worries parents, due to the risk of developing an addiction, a listed side effect of long term use.

Galushchak Alexander Vasilievitch: - Well, in this case we must be strict, because, when we prescribe it to a child, and if the child takes this drug for too long, then either this drug did not give the required effect, which explains why it was necessary to take for so long, or the dosage was incorrect, a combination of drugs was needed, or it was necessary to add some vasodilator drugs or drugs that activate recovery processes. I want to add that, this drug is prescribed not only for cases of anxiety, it is a nootropic, but it is also used in the recovery process.  If we see that a doctor does prescribe this drug for too long, we can suggest finding a different, more effective drug or a combination of drugs. The effect should always be carefully observed. Family and friends should monitor side effects, and interve if necessary.

Irina Lisitsyna: Is it possible to stop taking Phenibut abruptly?

Galushchak Alexander Vasilievitch: - It is not recommended to withdraw any kind of drug abruptly. We administer its calculated dose taking into account age, body weight of the child, this is all taken into account by pediatricians. A knowledgeable physician can set an effective dose while avoiding side effects. At the end of the treatment course, we gradually reduce the dosage over a week or a week and a half.


Irina Lisitsyna: Alexander Vasilievich, can Phenibut be a kind of quick fix, used before some serious or stressful eventsan exam, for example, or before a wedding, or will it not be effective?

Galushchak Alexander Vasilievitch: - In such cases, I would instead recommend "Adaptol". "Adaptol"’s takes effect more quickly, within 4-6 hours.  If a student is preparing for an exam and if they are extremely nervous about it, they can take Adaptol. It will not cause complete relaxation, the teachers won’t have the impression that the student is high or on drugs.  But here of course we’re talking about adults. When we talk about children or adolescents, it is better not to take drugs at all. Children need to be taught to overcome their shyness and timidness. Children shouldn’t be conditioned to see drugs as a viable solution every time they experience stress. As a society, we should support our children. When parents go to see their child in a school performance, they sit in the audience and look at the child, they nod at them, and the child feels supported, even if they’ve made a mistake. We smile, because a child must concentrate and overcome their fear. If it did not work out this time - it will next time! No pills, no drugs. But if this is some kind of really important event, or people are really afraid of heart attacks, or of failing an exam, we recommend "Adaptol"! It is designed for this purpose. It is not addictive, and it helps to ease  anxiety.

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