Phenibut Review: Mechanism of action, benefits, dosage and side effects

03/04/2015 Tags: all

Please note: This article is for informational purposes only. We do not endorse intake of phenibut or any nootropic agent. Any undesirable effects from intake of phenibut are sole responsibility of the user.

Nootropic agents are any type/form of substances that are known to help in improving brain health and cognitive functioning. This includes natural nootropic agents, synthetic ones and nootropic substances derived from natural resources. One of those naturally derived smart drugs includes phenibut. Phenibut is a popular nootropic agent known for its ability to help in decreasing anxiety, augmenting brain performance and improving one’s sleep patterns. Phenibut is actually a derivative of gamma amino butyric compounds, hence its chemical name – Beta-phenyl-gamma amino butyric compounds. It is more often used by some people suffering from social anxiety and depression in relieving their symptoms. In this review, we will discuss about phenibut’s mechanism of action, benefits, proper dosage and possible side effects.

What exactly is phenibut?

Phenibut is the modified version of GABA. GABA is one of the major brain chemicals acting as an inhibitory neurotransmitter. It is naturally produced by the brain primarily to promote relaxation and calmness. Despite this, supplementing with GABA is not advisable as it is not able to cross the blood brain barrier (BBB). To help resolve this problem, scientists developed phenibut through modifying GABA and adding a phenyl ring. With phenibut, BBB is easily penetrated while the benefits of GABA are gleaned by phenibut users.

How does phenibut work?

GABA primarily works through calming the excited neurons in your brain. If it is available in sufficient amounts in the brain, it works by balancing brain chemistry. For instance, when some neurotransmitters act too rapidly, GABA will immediately act by preventing this excitation. Through maintaining balanced brain chemistry, we are able to experience calmness and well-being. Hence, if you have inadequate levels of GABA, you may experience persistent anxiety, irritation and agitation. You may also find it difficult to concentrate, think clearly and sleep peacefully.

Phenibut and GABA’s mode of action is yet to be revealed. Nonetheless, some literature shows that once it is able to cross the blood brain barrier, it immediately communicates and stimulates neuronal receptors, particularly GABA-A and GABA-B receptors. This mode of action is similar to how alcohol is able to stimulate these receptors to decrease feelings of stress and anxiety whilst promote sedation, muscle relaxation and reduction of inhibitions. This ability sets phenibut apart from other nootropic agents which mostly have the ability to stimulate its users.

What are the benefits of phenibut supplementation?

Numerous benefits have been associated with phenibut. Firstly, it is known as an excellent anxiolytic agent. It is able to decrease the anxiety and stress felt by its users through decreasing or eliminating overactive neuronal activities. Some users report that taking phenibut makes them feel serene, composed and less likely to experience worrying bouts.

Furthermore, it also has the ability to improve one’s cognitive organization through decreasing “over thinking.” Despite limited studies conducted regarding phenibut, there is some evidence proving that it may help in increasing the cognitive performance of individuals who are supplementing with this compound.  Studies show that it may be able to exhibit this improvement through enhancing the communication between the right and left brain hemispheres leading to creativity and higher problems solving abilities. It may further help in supporting better learning and memory.

Phenibut may also help in improving your sleep patterns. If you have trouble sleeping peacefully during the night, you might find it easier to sleep after taking phenibut and wake up feeling energetic and rested. More importantly, phenibut has neuroprotective properties. Some evidence points out that it helps in decreasing brain cell damage commonly occurring when there is increased levels of stress hormones in the brain. This is also the primary reason why phenibut may be able to produce some cardioprotective benefits to which it helps in decreasing ventricular pressure to the heart.

How much phenibut should you take?

The recommended dosage for phenibut is 250 mgs to 750 mgs, you may take more than this range but you should not exceed 1 g daily. We also recommend that you begin with a lower dose to evaluate the individual effects of phenibut to your body.

What are the side effects of phenibut supplementation?

Phenibut is generally safe for human consumption and has low toxicity. Nonetheless, you may experience some side effects particularly if you take it with other GABAergics such as alcohol. Some of these side effects include dizziness, light headedness, upset stomach, nausea, fatigue and headaches. Please do not take phenibut with alcohol to prevent these side effects. More importantly, you should follow the recommended dosage. It is also advisable that you do not use phenibut regularly as there are some reports about phenibut withdrawal.