What is Phenibut? Everything you Need to Know

This short article will explain what Phenibut is, what is has been used for clinically, an what potential uses it could have in a responsible performance regimen.

Phenibut (β‐phenyl‐γ‐aminobutyric acid HCl) was discovered and used clinically in Russia in the late 1960s to treat anxiety and improve sleep and cognitive function.  It has been approved for medical use only in Russia, and as of the time of this article, is legal to possess everywhere except Australia, Italy, Hungary, and Lithuania, and is unscheduled in the United States.  Phenibut, is an agonist of the GABAB receptor, as well as to some extent GABAA.

Although being structurally similar to drugs like baclofen, it acts somewhat differently than this class of drugs.  It is a full agonist of the GABAB receptor, unlike benzodiazapenes, and has shown an analgesic effect in addition to being anxiolytic in clinical studies. (1)  It has also been used to improve sleep, treat psychosomatic conditions, treat depression, stuttering and PTSD.  (2)


GABA Receptor


General concensus among psychonauts and experimenters is that this drug could be used occasionally with no serious harm, although this has not been proven in studies. There seems to be a three-day period where the drug is high enough in concentration to be improving your anxiety levels, mood, and sleep, after which there may be a rebound period with a severity tied to the dose used.  Doses around 2 grams and below do not seem to produce much noticeable rebound.  Doses above 3 grams are considered dangerous by members of the nootropics community.  Please DO NOT combine high doses of phenibut with any other GABA-ergic such as Xanax or other benzos, GHB, alcohol, barbiturates, gabapentins, etc., or any other downers or central nervous system depressants.  Overdose can be fatal.

However, continuous use of phenibut is not recommended by anyone.  There are better options for treating anxiety if you happen to live in a country with a reasonable healthcare system and can actually get treatment.  Long-term continuous use of phenibut has led to many recorded cases of dependence and withdrawal.  If you are dependent on phenibut or anything else, please seek out treatment immediately. 

So, what is my personal opinion?

From my point of view, phenibut is a great tool to have in the toolbox.  It could turn a disastrous job interview into a great opportunity to push your career to the next level.  It could also help to take the edge off of a nerve-wracking first date with the boy or girl of your dreams.  As an unscheduled legal anxiolytic that is available without a prescription, it seems to be at the top of the heap in my opinion.  The medical system in the United States is a travesty, as is it's persecution of anyone not falling in line with the big pharma racket.

- James S. 3/31/2021


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(1)  https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=_iMDQOA2UIsC&pg=PA25&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false


(2)  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11830761/

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