Some call it a supplement, others call it a nootropic, but the truth is, phenibut is neither exactly a supplement nor a nootropic. The following are 11 important facts every consumer should know about phenibut before taking this substance:
- Phenibut is the generic commercial name for the compound Beta-Phenyl-Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, aka 4-Amino-3-Phenylbutyric Acid. It consists of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) and a Phenyl ring.
- It is a synthetic, phenylated analog of the amino acid GABA. But despite the fact that it is a derivative of a naturally occurring amino acid, it is considered to be a drug, not a dietary supplement.
- The human body naturally produces GABA and it has a vital role as the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. Higher brain levels of GABA result in calmness, relaxation and sedation. Lower brain levels of GABA result in stimulation, excitation, anxiety, depression and/or insomnia.
- Phenibut crosses the blood-brain barrier and mimics the inhibitory action of GABA in the brain, acting primarily on GABA(B) receptors. (1)
- It possesses remarkable anxiolytic activity and it is one of the most effective anxiety and insomnia relievers available without a prescription. It has a similar pharmacological action to that of FDA-approved GABAergic anxiolytic drugs, however, phenibut has a milder effect and typically very few side effects at standard dosages.
- It is commonly used to combat anxiety and restlessness, and to promote sleep in people who suffer from sleeplessness due to an anxious mind.
- Some also take it as a nootropic or cognitive enhancer, although there is no scientific evidence that it improves cognitive function in healthy people.
- Phenibut can lead to dependence if taken frequently. Many users have reported developing a tolerance and an addiction to this substance. Consumers who abuse it can struggle with adverse effects and withdrawal symptoms when quitting it, and some cases may require professional assistance. (2)
- Taking phenibut occasionally and responsibly is believed to be generally safe. Users who take 250-750 mg a day, twice a week or less, don’t normally experience any significant negative effects. However, the higher the dosage you take and the more frequently you take it, the more likely you’ll develop a tolerance and potentially an addiction to it.
- Phenibut is only approved for medical use in Russian and a few other countries, where it is primarily used to treat some anxiety-related disorders. Not much is really known about its long-term effects on the brain and body.
- It is not an approved, controlled, or scheduled substance in the USA and most other countries. Australia has banned the sale of phenibut due to health risk concerns. The U.S. FDA has banned its use in products labeled as dietary supplements. It can be legally purchased as a generic nootropic compound or research chemical intended for research purposes.
In conclusion, I don’t know what sort of anxiety or insomnia you’re suffering with or how badly it is affecting your daily life, but you need to weigh the pros and cons and decide if you want to proceed with this kind of unapproved chemical substance that has not been thoroughly studied or proven to be safe for long-term consumption. It is always better to seek the advice of a healthcare professional before buying any unknown supplements off the Internet.