Often called a ‘smart pill’, Phenibut is a nootropic that people use to ease anxiety, improve sleep routine, and enhance cognitive functioning.
With a chemical name Beta-phenyl-gamma-aminobutyric acid, it is a derivative of the neurotransmitter GABA. You may find this nootropic under brand names, such as Noofen, Fenibut, Phenybut, or Citrocard.
Phenibut HCL is a common nootropic in stacks designed to reduce stress and elevate mood. Individuals even use it as an anxiolytic to help with their social anxiety and as an anti-depressant.
Phenibut works wonders in the human body if you use it properly and take appropriate doses. Taking higher than the recommended dosage of this nootropic can lead to potential adverse effects.
An overuse of this supplement can cause you to develop tolerance or dependency and you may even experience some withdrawal symptoms once you stop taking it.
Phenibut HCL is a modified version of one of the vital inhibitory neurotransmitters in the brain, GABA. It is capable of producing a relaxing effect in the body. It also promotes a dis-inhibiting, euphoriant, and calm state of mind.
GABA is a naturally released neurotransmitter in the brain that promotes feelings of relaxation in the body. Since it cannot penetrate the blood-brain barrier, supplementing Phenibut nootropic with it does not prove effective.
Although Phenibut is very similar to GABA in terms of the chemical structure, it can cross over the blood-brain barrier easily due to the addition of a phenyl group molecule. Considering this, it makes sense why Phenibut Hydrochloride is thought to produce GABA-like effects within the brain.
This makes this drug a part of the Gabapentinoid classification of drugs, which are used for treating epilepsy, restless legs syndrome, and neuropathic pain. Other drugs under this classification include GABOB, Gabapentin, Pregabalin, Baclofen, and Fluorophenibut.
As soon as Phenibut HCL reaches the brain, it activates GABA receptors on some synapses between neurons. It stimulates two different receptors for GABA, namely GABA-A and GABA-B receptors – and hence, it is a non-selective GABA agonist.
This mode of action is quite similar to that of alcohol. Alcohol also activates the GABA receptors to reduce anxiety and stress, decrease inhibitions, relax muscles, and produce sedative effects.
Phenibut HCL works differently as compared to other nootropic supplements that may produce stimulatory effects.
- Helps reducing stress through anxiolytic properties
- Promotes proper sleep and GABA receptors stimulator
- Enhances cognitive functions
Being a GABA agonist, Phenibutproduces a sedative effect. Research suggests that Phenibut supplementation may greatly improve sleep quality.
What actually happens when you take a Phenibut supplement? It interacts with the brain circuitry that is linked to calmness and relaxation. It interacts with GABA receptors and helps calm the nerves and enables the users to enjoy a more restful and peaceful sleep.
Using Phenibut for sleep problems yields some great benefits, such as:
- Helps in falling asleep faster.
- Promotes a less interrupted sleep.
- Makes waking up from sleep easy.
- It promotes a refreshing and well-rested sleep.
Given these benefits of Phenibut, many people use it as a supplement to help them sleep and relax. This supplement reduces stress and hence, makes it easy to fall asleep. It also helps the users feel more at ease with their emotions and thoughts and achieve the tranquility state to start and maintain a deep, peaceful sleeping state.
There are several benefits of Phenibut. Unlike other anxiolytic compounds, it does not impair brain function while providing the same anxiety-reducing and cognitive-enhancing benefits as them.
Following are the most common benefits of this nootropic supplement.
1. Relieves anxiety
Being an anxiolytic, Phenibut helps reduce stress and anxiety. It allows individuals to gain more control over their anxiety and makes them feel relaxed and more composed.
2. Improves cognitive performance
It also has a significant positive effect on the cognitive and mental performance. It enables the two brain hemispheres to communicate more effectively, and thus improves problem-solving skills.
3. Phenibut Improves sleep
Sleep improvement is yet another benefit of this supplement. Users find it easier to fall asleep and experience better sleep quality after Phenibut supplementation. They also wake up feeling more refreshed and well rested.
4. Is neuroprotective
Phenibut has neuroprotective properties, which prevent damage to the neuronal cells in case of high stress. It also improves overall cardiovascular function by reducing the strain on the ventricles of the heart.
5. How to Increase Dopamine Level
This nootropic supplement increases the dopamine level in the body, resulting in a pleasant and controlled mood. Moreover, it also boosts the motivation levels simultaneously.
The effects of Phenibut can be categorized into anxiolytic, cognitive, ataractic, cardioprotective, and neuroprotective.
Anxiety typically results from over-thinking; when you are unable to turn off communication between neurons. Acting as an anxiolytic, Phenibut can inhibit nervous thoughts and reduce anxiety caused by overactive neural processing. Users find this supplement extremely beneficial to lessen their worry cycles and make them feel calm and composed. It can also help users overcome unnecessary inhibitions and thus, fight social anxiety and shyness.
Moreover, Phenibut also improves cognitive functioning. Its use leads to improved brain function. By promoting the communication between the two hemispheres of the brain, it improves problem-solving and promotes creative thinking.
In addition to this, Phenibut acts as a sedative or ataractic agent to reduce trouble sleeping at night, improve the quality of sleep, and help achieve the state of deep sleep.
Lastly, this nootropic supplement also shows neuroprotective effects. When the stress levels are high, it helps protect neuronal cell damage. It also lessens the pressure on the ventricles of the heart and provides cardioprotective benefits.
While both are alike in many ways, there is a considerable difference between Phenibut and Fluorophenibut.
Since Fluorophenibut is structurally similar to Phenibut, it offers similar cognitive and physiological effects. However, if we compare the onset of the two drugs, Fluorophenibut wins, as its onset is much faster, has greater power, and a shorter duration of effects.
The primary difference in the structure of the two drugs is that Fluorophenibut has a fluorine-substituted phenyl group in the position of the beta molecule – which makes it very similar to the chemical structure of Baclofen.
Anecdotal reports suggest that Fluorophenibut may produce a greater euphoric effect with a higher risk of abuse for recreational purposes.
It is not uncommon for users to use Phenibut with other substances. One common reason for doing so is that Phenibut amplifies the power of central nervous system depressants. A substance that users usually combine Phenibut with is alcohol, as it increases the effect of alcohol.
The combination of Phenibut with alcohol may lead to some mild side effects including extreme drowsiness and sedation or disinhibition and sociability. Some users may also experience nausea and vomiting. Since Phenibut is likely to produce its own hangover symptoms, the combination of Phenibut with alcohol can make the user feel very sick the next day. Additionally, there are chances of more serious side effects.
While Phenibut alone cannot lead to a fatal overdose, mixing it with alcohol may produce toxicity and lead to an overdose. Since both the substances are a depressant of the central nervous system, their combination can make the user suffer from respiratory depression.
With a combination of Phenibut and alcohol, a user may experience sedation to a point that he loses consciousness. This can further cause choking on vomit while unconscious. Moreover, users who mix these substances together are likely to experience blackouts or even short-term memory loss.
Considering the high risk of negative effects of combining Phenibut with alcohol, it is easy to see why it is not a recommended practice. However, some users report alcohol to be helpful when they are trying to stop the Phenibut cycle. Continuous supplementation of Phenibut can make your body form a tolerance to it, and hence, when you stop taking the supplement, you experience withdrawal symptoms.
Therefore, you should take Phenibut on an infrequent basis. It is better to take it for two weeks and then take a break from it to avoid tolerance and withdrawal.
After stopping Phenibut intake, some users drink some alcohol in the following days to reduce their dependency on the supplement. However, this is not the recommended way, so if you decide to do it, do so at your own risk.
Given the powerful nature of the Phenibut compound, dosage control becomes imperative.
The recommended dosage for Phenibut ranges from 250 mg to 1000 mg. However, you should consider beginning with a smaller dose to give your body time to adjust to the drug. Once your body adjusts and starts tolerating it well, you may increase the dosage gradually.
Contrary to the other nootropics, Phenibut has a longer half-life and its effects can last for a whole day. This explains why you should not take more than one dosage of this supplement in a day. Also, consider sparing at least four to six hours between any follow-up administrations.
You may get this supplement either in the form of a Hydrochloride (HCL) salt or in Free Amino Acid (FAA) form.
Both forms differ such that the Phenibut FAA has a greater potency because it contains 20% more of the active ingredient in one dose. There are claims that FAA converts into Phenibut HCL once it reaches the gastrointestinal tract and there is no difference between the physiological effects of the two compounds.
While some people may experience side effects related to the stomach upon consumption of one form or the other, there appear to be no prominent differences between the two compounds of the nootropic drug – and the side effects are purely subject to individual sensitivities.
Since Phenibut HCL is water soluble, you can easily ingest it by mixing its powdered form into water or juice. However, some users find the powder too sour for their liking, and thus they like to buy the powder in bulk and then cap their own pills – this serves as a convenient and cost-effective way of ingestion.
Phenibut is an uncontrolled substance in some parts of the world. This means that you do not need any prescription or license to possess it – it is legal. This applies to the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada.
Nevertheless, the manufacturing, production, import, and sale of this supplement may be subject to certain restrictions. Since FDA has not approved this drug, you cannot buy it from a pharmacy as an over-the-counter drug in the United States.
Alternatively, in other countries including Russia and Eastern Europe, you can get Phenibut as a prescription drug through your doctor.
An overdose or improper use may lead to potential side effects of Phenibut.
Phenibut is a perfectly safe drug for adults to take at low dosages. In case you exceed the recommended safe range, you may experience side effects similar to that caused by other GABA stimulators, such as alcohol, GHB, and benzodiazepines.
It is important to note that you should not stack this supplement with other GABA agonists or GABAergics, like alcohol, as this combination can lead to serious health risks.
The most common side effects of Phenibut include headaches, light-headedness, nausea, fatigue, and minor stomach discomfort.
The best way to prevent any health complications and adverse effects is by avoiding a prolonged use of the drug – do not take it for more than few weeks at a time. Some users develop tolerance as early as five days after taking the supplement. Furthermore, increasing the dosage in such situation only increases the risk of side effects. Prolonged exposure to the drug can also produce withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it.
The bottom line is that Phenibut nootropic is an excellent supplement for boosting mental power and improving cognitive performance. The key is to enjoy its benefits is to take appropriate dosages and not overdo it.