Verified by Dr. Sundru M. Devi.
M.D. Microbiology, PhD Biotechnology, January 28, 2020
Phenibut is a a GABAergic agent that works on the GABA neurotransmitter distinctly reducing anxiety. It also lessens depression, and PTSD symptoms, improving sleep, and providing an overall feeling of ease and well-being. Due to the euphoric-like effects it offers, users prefer to stick to occasional use rather than frequent in respect of its abuse and addiction risk potential.
What is Phenibut?
Phenibut is a supplement that is a derivative of GABA, but much stronger. It was discovered in Russia and is considered as a nootropic (a substance that helps your brain work better) because it can help with focus and then help to cause profound sleep. Russian researchers found that phenibut protected against the psychological side effects of chronic stress.
It was also suggested that maintaining a dose less than 600 mg is effective, or else it might stop working when taken daily. There are reports of people abusing it by taking high doses for long periods and becoming dependent on it. This is a very powerful sleep hack, but it doesn’t mix with alcohol or some other medications.
Phenibut might not have as widespread use as other nootropics in the market. However, it has demonstrated numerous benefits over ten decades through both formal studies and anecdotal documentation. It’s a nootropic designed to simulate the inhibitory neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) that acts on the central nervous system. It is marketed as a psychotropic with a positive effect on mental capability and improved neurological function. The anxiety diminishing effects of phenibut are the most praised of all its attributes. Once anxiety is resolved, natural sleep patterns and enhanced cognitive processes shortly start following.
Phenibut was invented in the Soviet Union practically 50 years back. An intriguing, recorded tale uncovers that Russian cosmonauts were supplemented with phenibut, particularly during the 1975 mission Apollo-Soyuz at the joint of the USSR and US. It stays being used to date in Russia as a treatment and solution for some conditions, including anxiety, depression, prevention of motion sickness, even alcohol withdrawal syndrome, to name a few. Also, obviously, its nootropic properties.
Phenibut, sold under the brand names Anvifen, Fenibut, and Noofen among others, is a central nervous system depressant with anxiolytic and stimulant effects which is used in the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, and for a variety of other indications. – Wikipedia
Benefits and Effects
What Are Phenibut Benefits?
- Reduces Anxiety and Stress Levels
- Increased Sociability
- Promotes Healthy Sleep Patterns and Quality
- Improves Symptoms of ADHD
Reduces Anxiety and Stress
Anyone who suffers from anxiety knows that it can be tough to control; it’s not just something that can be ‘switched’ off. When taking Phenibut, you will be able to gain more control. Once administered, you can expect to feel more relaxed and composed.
This attribute is the most appreciated benefit of phenibut, which is documented by Izyaslav Lapin. 
Anxiety is often the result of overactivity in the brain’s concentration and overthinking and analysis of unnecessary or irrelevant matters, often with the inability to realize the direction to which the train of thought is heading. Turning down and resting the continuous and distracting neuron processing frees the negative thought preoccupation, which in turn opens a fresher, vibrant, and often productive range of possibilities.
Increases Sociability and Enhances Mood
The anxiolytic impact prompts receptiveness towards social interaction, which without anyone else is an issue quite often connecting with nervousness. Studies suggest phenibut to be a promoter of enhanced cognitive processing, but the fundamental reason is practically still due to anxiety relief. Those seeking to improve interaction in social settings report better results with the supplement in comparison with alcohol or prescription medication such as benzodiazepines. While attempted anxiety-reduction using traditional tranquilizers often leads to drowsiness and reduction in motor skill and cognitive ability, phenibut seems to mitigate the feelings, except without the associating and undesired side effects that associate with traditional prescription medication. [R]
Promotes Healthy Sleep Patterns and Quality
People living through the depression, anxiety, stressful life events, while going through hormonal changes such as menopause, often report degenerating sleep quality, sleep disturbance, and insomnia. While melatonin is a remarkable and beneficial supplement to consider, some require pharmaceutical sleep aid for more sedating and sleep-inducing effects.
Lack of continuous quality sleep can cause impairment in cognitive processing, opening the way to more anxiety and more sleep disturbance. Used consciously, Phenibut is an excellent supplement that can restore significant, natural sleep patterns, duration, and quality. The ability to fall asleep, remain asleep, maintain an extended period of healthy, rejuvenating deep sleep is attainable with phenibut. [R] [R]
May Improve ADHD
According to Selfhacked, since phenibut improves attention, it may also help with ADHD symptoms. In one clinical trial of 50 children with ADHD, it improved cognition, self-control, sustained attention, and memory after one month (500-700 mg/day). One month is a short time for evaluating ADHD effects; long-term studies need to determine if the beneficial effect can be sustained.
Well, I am ADHD and have taken Phenibut and similar “GABA-acting” drugs, such as gabapentin, for about a year. It’s interesting that, at the time, I had not been diagnosed with ADHD yet and was not aware nor had a clue what ADHD is. I self-medicated with gabapentin and phenibut along the way, and now years later, looking back at how routinely I was taking it, I realize the reason I was hooked and amazed by it was its effect on me as an ADHD, before any anxiety triggers that might associate. It was a transformative medication – but overtime, mister W (withdrawals) had been sitting and just waiting for me to get off it to introduce himself – and that horrible experience was almost equally transformative.
Mechanism of Action
How Does Phenibut Work?
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (also known as GABA) is the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in our central nervous system. The blood-brain barrier makes supplementing with GABA close to being ineffective due to its inability to bypass the blood-brain restriction. However, phenibut crosses the barrier due to the addition of the phenyl group molecule. Once in the brain, it slows the neuronal excitability, resulting in the effects as mentioned earlier.
GABA frees up channels in the neurons, reduces the function of other neurotransmitters, and diminishes collective fears and anxieties in the neuron. It remains vague whether or not phenibut binds to the GABA receptor, although some studies suggest that it only does so in high concentrations.
Lapin’s research found that phenibut increases the levels of dopamine as well. Dopamine is another vital neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. It regulates emotions and creates the reaction of what we call motivation.
More from the Web
To affect one’s cognitive functioning, mood, and overall relaxation levels, this supplement needs to cross the blood-brain barrier. GABA cannot effectively do this, while Phenibut can. This is due to a phenyl group that is attached to GABA’s structure.
Naturally, GABA balances out the effects of chemicals that stimulate neurons. When neurons are overstimulated, this can lead to feelings of anxiety and restlessness. Since Phenibut works like GABA, it helps to restore this balance.
The result is neurons firing only when they’re supposed to. Once Phenibut reaches the brain, it targets GABA receptor sites.
It is believed that Phenibut is non-selective, as it stimulates both GABA-A and GABA-B receptors. This allows you to feel a sense of relaxation, lessening anxiety. This is relatively different from other nootropic supplements, which is why it’s beneficial in a stack.
Phenibut also stimulates dopamine receptors, which is critical in terms of your mood. Once dopamine is increased, you will experience a more positive attitude. Users also tend to experience high levels of motivation, allowing them to achieve more.
How to Take Phenibut?
Phenibut is a potent compound. Start at the lowest effective dose and monitor your response to it, then adjust according to your needs. A dose of 250 mg is a good starting point for first-timers with no tolerance. 500 mg would be ideal, in my opinion.
Phenibut effects build up gradually, so avoid taking a second dose without a reasonable timeframe in between. Initial kick-in is around 45 minutes after consumption, and the optimal peak effect is usually 2 hours later.
Phenibut is GABA (the major calming neurotransmitter in your brain) with a phenyl ring attached, which allows the molecule to pass your blood-brain barrier and reach receptors in your brain. Phenibut was developed initially for Russian astronauts, to ease the stress of flight and help them sleep in space. It relieves anxiety and drives you into a deeper sleep. Phenibut is also a nootropic: it boosts cognition, giving you relaxed clarity of thought.
Powder Phenibut Dosage
For people trying to figure out which capsules to buy, here’s how much phenibut I can pack into each capsule size (using lift mode fine crystals phenibut HCL powder):
“Packed body” is when you press as much powder as you can into the large inner portion of the capsule.
“Entirely packed capsule” is when you pack the cap (top) of the capsule and the body of the capsule as tightly as you can while still being able to close it to the point of “popping” together.
Packed body: ~1100-1150
Entirely packed: ~1200-1250
Packed body: ~800 mg
Entirely packed: ~850 mg
Packed body: ~410mg
Entirely packed: ~430mg
Dave Aspey on Phenibut
Phenibut can be addictive, so it’s very important to take it correctly. The two common mistakes people make are taking phenibut daily and increasing the dose over time. Phenibut’s effects last for 48-72 hours, so you only want to take it once every three days (twice a week max).
You also want to cycle it to avoid tolerance. Go two weeks on phenibut, two weeks off. Don’t go past 250 mg doses; if you stop feeling the effects at 250mg, cycle off for a couple of weeks. Don’t mix phenibut with alcohol, either. It amplifies the consequences, which can be dangerous.
Dose: 250 mg (never higher)
Time: Anytime, but only twice a week max (Monday and Thursday, for example).
Do two weeks on phenibut, two weeks off.
Phenibut Side Effects
Like anything we put inside our body, the best source of measurement and criticism is the human body itself. To avoid adverse effects, start at a low dose and see your body’s reaction and adaptation to it.
Often individuals report dizziness and drunk-life sensation as a side effect. On the other hand, many people supplement with phenibut for the very same impact.
The experience is entirely subjective. Rarely users report fatigue, nausea, and stomach discomfort. People on epilepsy medication or MAO inhibitors are advised to consult a professional doctor before taking phenibut. The consumption of alcohol must be within reasonable limits, as a synergistic effect might be induced in combination of alcohol and phenibut.
Avoid taking daily.
Phenibut has high abuse potential. If taken regularly, be mindful of possible withdrawal effects upon discontinuation. It’s wise to limit intake to once or twice a week. Thereby maintain a low tolerance, enjoy its benefits, and avoid building a destructive habit of use. Do not underestimate the power of phenibut and do your research if you decide to include it in your stack.
Essential and useful resources on phenibut usage, abuse, retreats, and much more can be found on Reddit’s phenibut sub. Please use it with caution.
It is essential to be aware of the possible withdrawal effect upon discontinuation of phenibut, which can be mild to wild, depending on whether or not it has been abused or not, the dosage, a period of use, amongst other things. An example from the wilder end is the following opinion, from a long-time, high-dose phenibut (ab)user:
In my experience, it is the worst feeling ever. If you had problems in your life anyway and were using Phenibut to mask them, then they will come back twenty times as bad. Withdrawal strips away any optimistic delusions the Phenibut might have given you, and puts you into a state of intense ‘depressive realism’. You see things seemingly for how they are, and find it physically impossible to believe in potential hope of a miracle happening. You are forced to confront the crushing hopelessness of your situation. Any optimism you remember from your Phenibut days seems like meaningless self-delusion. Regrets and doubts multiply. You start planning for the worst, expecting the worst.
Waking up at 3 am every morning after ultra-depressing dreams, your energy reserves are depleted. Your range of vision widens so you can see out of the corners of your eyes, like a prey animal. It feels like there are cold, damp, grey clouds above your eyes. Vision becomes blurry, and you feel old. Smiling becomes physically impossible and fake. Breathing is difficult; you can hold your breath for a long time before having to force yourself to take a big, stressful gulp of air. You may get audible hallucinations, such as hearing a chorus of a particular song repeated over and over again, almost mockingly loudly, when you lie in bed. Things like tooth pain that were masked with GABA are felt again. If you were worried about balding, your scalp would feel cold. Your worst fears will be played upon, as if by a demon, and exaggerated. You find it easy to believe in Hell, but impossible to believe in Heaven.
It gets worse for the first three days, then stays bad, becomes manageable by the end of the first week of cold turkey, though you remain melancholy for about two more weeks. This is based on having taken a relatively high dose daily for several months. With a more sensible dosage, the withdrawal will be far milder.
The following Reddit page is valuable for anyone uses or planning to use or stop phenibut:
Is Phenibut Legal In Australia and Hungary?
As of 2018, Phenibut is not a controlled substance in any country apart from Australia and Hungary.
In 2015, it was suggested that the legal status of phenibut in Europe should be reconsidered due to its recreational potential.
In February 2018, the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration declared it a prohibited (schedule 9) substance, citing health concerns due to withdrawal and overdose. [R]
As of 14 November 2018, Hungary added phenibut and 10 other items to its New Psychoactive Substances ban list. [R]
FDA on Phenibut
Phenibut is a substance that does not meet the statutory definition of a dietary ingredient.
The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) defines a dietary ingredient as a vitamin; mineral; herb or other botanical; amino acid; nutritional substance for use by man to supplement the diet by increasing the total dietary intake; or a concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract, or a combination of the preceding substances. Because phenibut does not fit any of the categories of dietary ingredients under the FD&C Act, any nutritional supplements that declare phenibut as a dietary ingredient are misbranded.
Phenibut is also known as:
- 4-Amino-3-phenylbutanoic acid
- β-(aminomethyl)benzenepropanoic acid
- beta-(Aminomethyl)hydrocinnamic acid
- β-phenyl-γ-aminobutyric acid+
Phenibut in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Phenibut is unregulated in the UAE. It is legal for personal use, however, it is not permitted for retail sale.
If you order Phenibut from overseas, if has a chance of being seized by customs, but that won’t be an issue of serious importance, however, you will have lost the money paid for it.
We all love phenibut. It removes our social anxiety (which everybody has nowadays), removes inhibitions we have as humans, removes a mental condition we didn’t know we had before the use of this substance, makes us more motivated so we can focus on tasks.
Phenibut is a substance which is very handy to treat all of this. You can use it for the rest of your life. You will have continuous anxiolysis, but the motivational aspects will disappear. This is because of a down-regulation of GABA-B on the lesser hand and especially down-regulation of your dopamine receptors. It’s called tolerance.
I was 3 years addicted and I have a long road of nootropic use behind me. Herbal extracts, synthetic nootropics, soft- and hard drugs… Some to get high, others to make me smarter and others to remove phenibut tolerance. But 99% of these maybe 100+ compounds I used really helped.
However I discovered 2 very useful substances on my long road.
First of all, memantine. It’s an Alzheimer’s medication. It works as an NMDA-antagonist. NMDA receptors are receptors in your brain part of the glutamate system, used for learning and memory. These are said to reverse tolerance for stimulants such as caffeine and amphetamine. Phenibut can be classified as a relaxant and stimulant, and while it has like all the other stimulants tolerance problems, NMDA antagonists come in handy to reduce this. Various reports of people you can find on the internet indeed back this claim up. Other compounds who work in this system are ketamine, DXM (cough surpressant), MXE and N20. We also call these compounds dissociatives. Memantine is dissociative in higher doses as a recreational drug but for Phenibut it’s more suited in 1-10mg doses for tolerance reduction. It’s also a dopamine agonist. You read that good: an NMDA-antagonist (reduces tolerance for dopaminergic stimulants) and dopamine antagonist. So memantine is a stimulant while reducing tolerance for stimulants. In my use of this substance I learned this: start low – with 1 mg to begin with. Because memantine is also a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, it can have anti-nootropic effects the first week while starting. This may contribute to initial worsening of cognitive function during early memantine treatment and is the reason why many people don’t take memantine for longer than I week and why you can’t find many succesful reports on the internet. I was very succesful in doing this but had to way for minimum 2 weeks. Memantine is also the best in the 2 chemicals I describe in the post when comparing price/efficacy. You can find 10 grams for €75 on the internet (contact me when interested).
The other succesful substance I used is fasoracetam. It’s a nootropic in the racetam family. Some other nootropics in this family are piracetam and aniracetam. 2 famous nootropics known for there ability to increase blood flow in your brain and make you more sharper. But only fasoracetam has the ability to increase GABA-B receptors in the brain. It’s no GABA-B agonist and no GABA-B antagonist. This is good to know because GABA-B antagonists have a negative on your ability to relax in the beginning and are dangerous in general (because they can damage your nervous system). GABA-B antagonists don’t know as far as I know, so this is purely hypothetical. Just wanted to say fasoracetam is an ideal substance. Fasoracetam is more expensive compared to memantine, I can find 10 grams on the internet for €60. Since you need to use higher doses (10-50mg) it will cost you more.
Because of my discovery of these substances and success with it, I decided to be a social butterfly and highly motivational person for the rest of my life. I decided it long before I discovered this, but I couldn’t make it true because of the disappearment of phenibut’s effects. I hope I stay them for the rest of my life.
My current method? I make 000 capsules which hold approximately 800mg powder. With a weighing scale I weigh 100g phenibut, 2.5g fasoracetam and 0.5g memantine. Then I mix it. By doing this I get a nice mixture of these powders. Be aware, people will say this is not 100% mixed because you do it manually. But this is not a huge problem, it’s not really a bad thing if you get sometimes 1 mg memantine and other times 3 mg memantine. If you want to do it more precisely, you can buy a super accurate weighing scale and put 1mg memantine every morning under your tongue. But you lose the comfort of easy dosing.
Phenibut is a useful anxiety-relieving supplement that does not cause the infamous drowsiness often accompanying anxiety medication. It is well-studied and standing amongst the top in line when it comes to anxiety relief, sleep regulation, and cognitive improvement.
Phenibut, sold under the brand names Anvifen, Fenibut, and Noofen among others, is a central nervous system depressant with anxiolytic and stimulant effects which is used in the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, and for a variety of other indications.
Start at the lowest effective dose (250mg) and monitor your response to it, then adjust according to your needs. A dose of 250 mg is a good starting point for first-timers with no tolerance. 500 mg would be the ideal in my opinion. Phenibut effects build up gradually, so avoid taking a second dose without a reasonable timeframe in between. Initial kick-in is around 45 minutes after consumption, and optimal peak effect is usually 2 hours later.
For first-time, 250mg, If you’re experienced and know well enough about it, you can take 500mg. The best approach is to start low and see how you react to it, and increase accordingly if needed. But keep in mind that it takes around an hour and a half to be felt, so make sure you keep about 2 hours interval between doses.
I can only recommend products I personally tried, and in the case of Adrafinil, I only bought and tried Nootropic Depot’s 300 mg Adrafinil capsules. Although I’ve seen it available in a few different websites, there was always something sketchy about the website, or negative reviews about the vendors adding some unknown fillers to the products.
And surprisingly, I actually found that I prefer Adrafinil over Modafinil greatly, even though I’ve always (on the occasions that I took it) maintained a dose of 300mg once per day only.
If you decide to purchase from another vendor, make sure you research, find out more information about them from Reddit’s nootropics forum, find reviews on google and whatnot, before making a transaction.
Phenibut has a long onset time of around 1.5 – 2 hours until its peak effect, for most people. The time that it takes to kick in depends on the amount of food in your stomach, your metabolism, the dosage, and how you took it. Taking Phenibut sublingually results in a faster onset time that taking it with water or juice.
5-HTP affects serotonin, while Phenibut effects gaba, glutamate, and dopamine. It should be ok as long as you don’t exaggerate with the dosage.
As of 2018, Phenibut is not a controlled substance in any country apart from Australia and Hungary. In 2015, it was suggested that the legal status of phenibut in Europe should be reconsidered due to its recreational potential. In February 2018, the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration declared it a prohibited (schedule 9) substance, citing health concerns due to withdrawal and overdose. As of 14 November 2018, Hungary added phenibut and 10 other items to its New Psychoactive Substances ban list. Phenibut in Dubai is unregulated. This means that it is not illegal to possess for personal use, however, it is not permitted for retail sale. If you order Phenibut from overseas, it has a chance of being seized by customs, and the money being lost.
Based off my experience, I’d only only tried and therefore recommend Nootropic Depot Phenibut. But you can simply search online and make your choice from the different vendors. And make sure you research those vendors too, before actually making a purchase.
Phenibut is a gabapentinoid so if it’s nerve pain that you’re dealing with then there’s a good chance it will help. It’s very chemically similar to gabapentin and gab is regularly prescribed to patients with nerve pain.
But being that phenibut is a gabapentinoid means that it will potentiate opiate medications so just be careful if you are taking any for your pain because the phenibut will make the effects of them stronger.
As for anxiety, it’s great for it.
- If you’re intrigued by Phenibut, you might like and find Fasoracetam quite interesting too due to the two nootropics interaction. You may also find Agmatine Sulfate & Sunifiram worth exploring.
- Reddit’s Phenibut Endless Information (from first-hand experiences)
- Phenibut – Wikipedia
- Nootropics Information Frequently Asked Questions