Directions: Phenibut is water soluble. Do not use if you are pregnant/breastfeeding. This product can be dangerous, please read warnings
Method of Action
Phenibut carries the GABA structure with the addition of a phenyl ring. The addition of this ring allows for it to cross the blood brain barrier. GABA by itself cannot cross the blood brain barrier and remains completely ineffective as a stand-alone supplement.
Phenibut binds to the GABA b receptor sites. Drugs and substances such as Baclofen, GHB and alcohol bind specifically to these sites. Baclofen, a prescription muscle relaxant shares a similar chemical structure to phenibut.
Generally, phenibut shares similar pharmacological effects as GHB, Baclofen and alcohol. Higher dosages can lead to an “intoxication” that may inhibit the central nervous system. Lower dosages of phenibut can yield calm-inducing and relaxant effects. Mixing phenibut with other GABA agonists can cause synergistic and cross-cumulative effects that can be dangerous. This should be minimalized or avoided altogether.
Phenibut can have a host of benefits when used properly. On the flip-side, using improperly can result in a negative experience that may turn one off from the substance for good. Using the substance for recreational purposes (to get high) will likely lead to a negative experience that can be dangerous and is not recommended.
The benefits of phenibut often relate to calmness and a reduction in anxiety. Phenibut may also help to reduce stress and encourage a better sleep. Finding a “sweet spot” where one can feel the full effects of relaxation without impairing their mental function is how most nootropic users take phenibut. Phenibut should not be used every day and cycled strategically in times of need.
Below and some of the most common benefits experienced with phenibut.
- Anxiety reduction
- Sleep induction
- Reduced stress
- Improved mood
Benzodiazepines vs. Phenibut
Benzodiazepines like, Ativan, Xanax and Valium also work on GABA receptors however they selectively target GABA a receptors. Some may argue that phenibut also affects the GABA a receptors at higher doses however, this is generally not accepted in scientific community. Mixing phenibut with benzodiazepines can have life-threatening consequences so avoid this.
Cross tolerance may occur between phenibut and benzodiazepines however this is likely to be minimal or even non-existent due to the differing receptor targets. Both substances can cause down-regulation at their respective targets and therefore, both are prone to tolerance and addiction. Some have compared phenibut withdrawal to benzodiazepine withdrawal.
Phenibut Safety & Side Effects
Phenibut is a substance that can have excessive side effects and safety concerns if used improperly. It is generally considered much safer in low doses. Phenibut shares similar side effects with other GABA substances. Below is a list of common phenibut side effects. These side effects will likely increase at higher doses
- Lowered inhibitions
- Gastrointestinal distress
- Memory reduction
Mixing phenibut with other GABAergics can cause more severe consequences. Respiratory depression can be a serious side effect that may result in death. Mixing phenibut with GHB and certain benzodiazepines may cause the respiratory depression which can cause unconsciousness and death. Mixing phenibut with alcohol can increase the chance of blackouts and unconsciousness. Phenibut should not be used in people suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
Dosages of phenibut may vary depending on the individuals GABA tolerance and sensitivity. Usually dosages range from 500mg – 1500mg. Ones with higher dependence to GABAergics may have an easier time experiencing the phenibut effects without noticeable negative side effects.
One thing to note with phenibut is that it can take much longer to feel the effects than other substances. Sometimes it can take up to 4 hours to feel the full peak effects. Phenibut’s half-life is apparently 5-6 hours however there are reports of residual effects up to 24 hours after. Do not re-dose anywhere before the 4 hour mark. There are also reports of “hangover” comparable to alcohol when larger dosages are taken. Phenibut should be taken with food but eating a heavy meal may slow down absorption.