Verified by Dr. Sundru M. Devi.
M.D. Microbiology, PhD Biotechnology, January 28, 2020
Phenibut is a nootropic that works on the GABA neurotransmitter. It can effectively reduce anxiety, depression, and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It can also improve sleep and provide a sense of calm and well-being. However, it has the potential for abuse and addiction, so it is essential to use it only occasionally and not frequently.
What is Phenibut?
Phenibut is a potent derivative of the neurotransmitter GABA discovered in Russia. It is commonly used as a nootropic supplement to improve focus and promote deep sleep. Russian research has shown that phenibut can protect against the psychological effects of chronic stress. Maintaining a daily dose of less than 600 mg is recommended to avoid developing a tolerance.
Reports have indicated that some individuals abuse this sleep hack by taking excessive doses for extended periods, leading to dependency. It is important to note that this sleep aid should not be mixed with alcohol or other medications.
Phenibut may not be as widely used as other nootropics. Still, its benefits have been extensively studied and documented over the past decade. It is designed to mimic the inhibitory neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). It is marketed as a psychotropic with the ability to improve mental capability and neurological function. Its most praised attribute is its ability to reduce anxiety, which can then lead to improved sleep patterns and enhanced cognitive processes.
Phenibut, an intriguing and compelling sleep aid, was invented in the Soviet Union nearly 50 years ago. Its use has been documented, including its use by Russian cosmonauts during the 1975 Apollo-Soyuz mission with the United States. It is still used in Russia as a treatment for various conditions, including anxiety, depression, motion sickness, and alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Phenibut is also known for 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 used in the treatment of anxiety, insomnia and for a variety of other indications.” – Wikipedia.
- Reduces Anxiety and Stress Levels
- Increased Sociability
- Promotes Healthy Sleep Patterns and Quality
- Improves Symptoms of ADHD
Reduces Anxiety and Stress
It can be difficult for individuals struggling with anxiety to find effective ways to manage it. Phenibut is a promising option that may help provide more control over anxious thoughts and feelings. When taken, users can expect to experience a sense of relaxation and calmness, as documented by Izyaslav Lapin. This ability to reduce anxiety is one of the most highly praised benefits of phenibut. 
Anxiety is often caused by an overactive brain that is constantly focused on irrelevant or unnecessary thoughts and unable to control the direction of its train of thought. By calming the constant flow of distracting neural activity, individuals can break free from negative thought patterns and open up a fresh, vibrant, and potentially a more productive range of possibilities.
Increases Sociability and Enhances Mood
The anxiolytic effects of phenibut have been shown to promote increased social interaction, which is often difficult for individuals with anxiety. Additionally, studies suggest that the supplement may improve cognitive processing. However, the main benefit is still its ability to alleviate anxiety. Those seeking to improve their social interactions have reported better results with phenibut than alcohol or prescription medication such as benzodiazepines. Unlike traditional tranquilizers, which can cause drowsiness and impair motor skills and cognitive ability, phenibut reduces anxiety without the associated side effects. [R]
Promotes Healthy Sleep Patterns and Quality
Individuals experiencing depression, anxiety, and other stressful life events, as well as hormonal changes such as menopause, often struggle with poor sleep quality, disturbance, and insomnia. While melatonin can be a helpful supplement, some may require pharmaceutical sleep aids for more potent sedative effects.
A lack of consistent, high-quality sleep can impair cognitive function and lead to further anxiety and sleep issues. When used responsibly, Phenibut can be an effective supplement to restore natural sleep patterns, duration, and quality. By promoting the ability to fall and stay asleep and maintaining deep, restful sleep, Phenibut can help individuals achieve the therapeutic benefits of healthy sleep. [R] [R]
May Improve ADHD
According to Selfhacked, phenibut improves attention and 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 must 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.
Phenibut Mechanism of Action
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in our central nervous system. However, the blood-brain barrier makes supplementing with GABA nearly ineffective due to its inability to pass through the barrier. Phenibut, on the other hand, can cross the barrier due to the addition of a phenyl group molecule. Once in the brain, it slows neuronal excitability, leading to its effects on anxiety and stress.
GABA opens up channels in neurons, reduces the activity of other neurotransmitters, and reduces overall fear and anxiety in the neuron. It is unclear whether or not phenibut binds to the GABA receptor. Still, some studies suggest that it only does so at high concentrations. Lapin’s research also found that phenibut increases dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is another crucial neurotransmitter in the central nervous system that regulates emotions and drives motivation.
More from the Web
The supplement Phenibut is known for its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and improve cognitive functioning, mood, and relaxation levels.
This is due to the phenyl group attached to its structure, which allows it to effectively balance the effects of overstimulated neurons and reduce feelings of anxiety and restlessness.
Unlike GABA, Phenibut stimulates both GABA-A and GABA-B receptors, providing a sense of relaxation and increased dopamine levels for improved mood and motivation. Its unique effects make it a valuable addition to a nootropic stack.
How to Take Phenibut?
Phenibut is a powerful compound that should be used with caution. It is recommended to start with the lowest effective dose and carefully monitor your response before adjusting the dosage according to your needs. A dose of 250 mg is a good starting point for those with no tolerance, while 500 mg is considered an ideal dose for most individuals.
It is important to note that the effects of Phenibut build up gradually, so only take a second dose with sufficient time to pass. The initial onset of effects is typically around 45 minutes after consumption, with the optimal peak effect occurring approximately 2 hours later.
Phenibut is a derivative of GABA (the primary calming neurotransmitter in the brain) with a phenyl ring attached, allowing the molecule to easily pass through the blood-brain barrier and reach receptors in the brain. It was initially developed for Russian astronauts to help alleviate flight stress and improve sleep in space. Phenibut has been shown to reduce anxiety and promote deeper sleep effectively. It also has nootropic effects, providing relaxed clarity of thought and improved cognitive function.
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
Phenibut is a powerful sleep hack, but it is essential to exercise caution. As with any supplement or medication, starting at a low dose is best to assess your body’s reaction and avoid any adverse effects. Some individuals may experience dizziness or a feeling of drunkenness as a side effect. It is also important to note that phenibut should not be mixed with alcohol or other medications. Individuals taking epilepsy medication or MAO inhibitors should consult a doctor before taking it. Additionally, limiting intake to once or twice a week is wise to avoid building a dependency and experiencing withdrawal effects upon discontinuation. Overall, it is crucial to do your research and be mindful of the potential risks and benefits of taking phenibut.
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:
Phenibut Legal Status
Is Phenibut Legal In Australia and Hungary?
Phenibut is currently not considered a controlled substance in most countries. However, in 2015, there were suggestions that its legal status in Europe should be revisited due to its potential for abuse. In 2018, both Australia and Hungary placed restrictions on the use of phenibut, citing health concerns related to withdrawal and overdose. Individuals need to be aware of the legal status of this substance in their country before using it. [R] [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.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Phenibut?
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.
How should I take Phenibut?
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.
How much Phenibut should I take?
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.
How long does the effect of Phenibut last?
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.
How long does it take Phenibut to kick in?
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.
Can I take phenibut with 5-htp?
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.
Is Phenibut Legal?
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.
Where can I buy Phenibut?
Based off my experience, I’d only only tried and therefore recommend Nootropix 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.
Can I buy Phenibut in Dubai, UAE?
You can buy Phenibut in Dubai as well as a selection of different nootropics from Nootropix.
Can I use Phenibut to help me with pain and anxiety?
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