What Is Phenibut?
August 23, 2023
- Benefits of Phenibut Usage
- What Are Common Side Effects for Phenibut Usage?
- What Are the Risks Associated with Phenibut Usage?
- In Summary
Do you have difficulties falling asleep, relaxing, or relieving tension? Phenibut is the supplement that may have the solution to your problems.
Beta-phenyl-gamma-aminobutyric acid HCl (also known as Phenibut) is a central nervous system depressant and psychoactive substance (meaning it affects how the brain works and can cause changes in mood and behavior) that is used to treat and alleviate a wide range of ailments. Other common names for Phenibut are:
- Brain Booster
This drug was developed in Russia in the 1960s, and is still widely used in most of Europe and the United States to this day. It is a controlled substance in Australia, but it is legal to possess and sell Phenibut in the US over the counter (OTC). However, in the US, it is not used in clinical settings because it is not approved as a licensed drug by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Phenibut is commonly marketed as a supplement to help with anxiety, sleep disorders, symptoms of depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Research suggests Phenibut may increase the concentration of dopamine in low doses, acting similarly to the effects stimulants have on anxiety.
You can ingest Phenibut in capsule form, in a powder mixed in a beverage (such as water or juice), or as a tablet that melts under the tongue. How long does it take for Phenibut to work or activate? Users generally report feeling the effects of the drug within two hours of its administration. Below, we’ll explore the benefits, side effects, and risks of taking Phenibut.
Benefits of Phenibut Usage
The majority of research conducted about the benefits of Phenibut is from Russia, but there is anecdotal evidence of potential benefits. When the proper doses are administered, individuals have reported experiencing:
- Cognitive enhancement: This includes increased motivation, memory, attention, and concentration.
- Reduction in anxiety: There is evidence suggesting Phenibut reduces anxiety and improves emotional intelligence.
- Neuron generation: Phenibut is reported to increase brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) which supports neurogenesis (the generation of new neurons in the brain), resulting in improved circulation, improved memory, and higher thinking.
- Insomnia relief: It is reported that Phenibut has increased the duration of key sleep phases over two days and improved sleep in people with anxiety and headaches.
Phenibut is also reported to relieve tension, symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, stammering, and can potentiate neuroleptics (mood stabilizers and other antipsychotic medications) and antiparkinsonian drugs.
What Are Common Side Effects for Phenibut Usage?
When administered at the correct dose, Phenibut can achieve the benefits listed above. Individuals using Phenibut have reported an overall relief from anxieties, reporting relaxation and sometimes drowsiness.
In larger doses, patients have reported feeling ‘sedated,’ which is why it is not recommended to operate heavy machinery (such as driving a car) after taking Phenibut. Some users have reported feeling more irritable after taking Phenibut.
If you are experiencing the following side-effects, it is recommended you seek immediate medical attention from a licensed professional:
- High blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Muscle spasms
- Dilated pupils
- Slowed breathing
What Are the Risks Associated with Phenibut Usage?
Because Phenibut is not FDA-approved, it can be difficult to get access to reputable studies and resources about Phenibut. Currently, there are no US-published studies about the long-term effects of Phenibut usage. However, there is some evidence to suggest that Phenibut can be addictive.
Dr. Edward Jouney, who is currently studying the effects of Phenibut, reports that there is evidence that the substance can cause addiction when administered too frequently or in high doses. His current research suggests the brain can become dependent on Phenibut the same way it can become dependent on drugs like Valium or Xanax.
His study also indicates other concerns. In his 2020 report with updates on the study, Journey reported growing cases of Phenibut-related dissociation, psychosis, and respiratory depression. Many users reported having positive effects up until after a few weeks of taking the drug, noting that they continually needed ‘higher and higher doses’ to feel the effects–which refers to building tolerance.
Taking Phenibut alongside other central nervous system (CNS) depressants (such as alcohol) can result in serious risk, including:
- Respiratory depression
Phenibut is an unregulated supplement in the US that can provide support and benefits to individuals suffering from sleep disorders, anxiety, or issues with cognitive abilities. However, the risks associated with Phenibut are severe.
In order to safely use Phenibut, experts recommend using small doses no more than three times per week. Doses of less than one gram are typically effective at helping with the above listed conditions, while exceeding one gram can result in dangerous side effects and increase your likelihood to become addicted to it. It’s a good idea to keep doses under one gram and allow for at least twenty-six hours to pass before taking another dose of Phenibut.
This product has not been approved by the US FDA. All statements on this page are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the US FDA.
This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. See more