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A Guide To Phenibut

Dopamine

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Introduction

Phenibut is a Russian drug developed in the 1960's. It works primarily on GABA b receptors and also on dopamine receptors. It is unregulated in North America but a clinically prescribed drug in Europe (A similar situation to Tianeptine...) Phenibut increases psychological testing in ADHD patients. It has been administered to women having pregnancy difficulties and improves the health of the fetus. It is prescribed to treat all manner of depressive, anxious, and neurotic mental diseases. It is also used to treat PTSD, immunocompromised states, insomnia, alcoholism, muscle weakness, and balance disorders. Phenibut is standard issue for Russian Cosmonauts in space to combat stress.

Phenibut increases sociability and decreases aggression. It is protective against endotoxin and compromised immune states. It protects against the stress cascade- adrenal hypertrophy, thymus shrinkage, stomach ulceration. Phenibut is neuro-protective: It reverses brain edema, restores brain ATP, and normalizes brain metabolism suppressed by chronic stress. Phenibut increases dopamine and potentiates therapeutic dopaminergic drugs. Phenibut increases antioxidant enzymes and limits lipid peroxidation.

I personally have found it to be a good alternative to modern psychiatric SSRI drugs and anti-anxiety medication. It makes me less neurotic, inhibited, and more sociable and extroverted.
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Dosing

Dosing Information as prescribed in Russia:
https://drugs-forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=221041

Adults are prescribed 250-500 mg 3 times a day. If the treatment necessitates a higher dose it can be increased to a maximum of 2500 mg (a day).

Maximal single dose (!)
Adults – 750 mg, elderly patients (60 y.o. or older), - 500 mg, children under 8 – 150 mg,
children 8-14 y.o. – 250 mg.

Unfortunately Phenibut is widely abused... The maximal single dosage is 750mg for adults but the average dosage of phenibut users has been found to be 2.4g[1] The average user takes 2-3x the doctor recommended dosage... There are many horror stories on the internet of phenibut withdrawals due simply to abuse, misuse, and lack of available dosing information in North America.

[1] Phenibut (4-amino-3-phenyl-butyric acid): Availability, prevalence of use, desired effects and acute toxicity. - PubMed - NCBI
"Phenibut is taken orally at an average dose of 2.4 g. Case reports in the medical literature feature users who present to emergency departments heavily sedated or experiencing withdrawal. There have been no reported deaths relating to phenibut use."

I have personally been taking phenibut 300-500mg 1-3x per day for just under 1 month now with no withdrawals on cessation [current dosage= 500mg every morning]. It takes a very long time to kick in fully- I found if I take it in the morning, it won't be in full effect until the afternoon. The drug loses some of it's initial effects with repetitive usage but I have not developed significant tolerance to its main effects. Phenibut makes me more sociable, happy, reduces anxiety, makes me more optimistic, more confident and dominating, more "alpha male," increases appetite, gives me warm hands and feet. It increases my focus, motivation, and quality of life.

I have taken phenibut up to 1350mg. At dosages of 1200mg+ it has given me some blood pressure issues under high stress and physical exertion. When my tolerance was lower and I took higher dosages- it would give me a sort of manic euphoria where I pretty much had a permanent grin on my face because I was enjoying everything so much. Some people have compared high doses to MDMA. Chasing this dopamine high is potentially unsafe and unsustainable.

:nono
*Do not mix Phenibut with alcohol!
*Do not take Phenibut if you have an addictive personality and can't regulate your usage!
*Keep your dosage as low as possible while still effective. Once you find a dosage that's working try to stay with it and avoid increasing unless you really need to.
*Set aside extra stock in case you experience withdrawals then use it to slowly taper down.
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Studies

Phenibut (beta-phenyl-GABA): a tranquilizer and nootropic drug. - PubMed - NCBI

[Effect of phenibut on the content of monoamines, their metabolites, and neurotransmitter amino acids in rat brain structures]. - PubMed - NCBI
It is established that a single administration of phenibut in a dose of 25 mg/kg (i.p.) produces a statistically significant increase in the content of dopamine metabolite (3,4-dioxyphenylacetic acid) and the retarding amino acid taurine in striatum. At the same time, phenibut did not significantly influence the levels of GABA, serotonin, and dopamine in various brain structures and produce a moderate decrease in the level of norepinephrine in the hippocampus.

[Effect of phenibut on the respiratory arrest caused by serotonin]. - PubMed - NCBI
"Under normal conditions, the systemic administration of serotonin (20-60 mg/kg, i.v.) resulted in drastic changes of the respiratory pattern, whereby the initial phase of increased respiratory rate was followed by the respiratory arrest. The preliminary injection of phenibut (400 mg/kg, i.p.) abolished or sharply reduced the duration of the respiratory arrest phase induced by serotonin."
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Pharmaco-ethological analysis of social behaviour of isolated mice. - PubMed - NCBI
"The ethological profile of some neuropharmacological substances affecting catecholamines, serotonin and GABA was investigated in isolated mice. Changes in brain noradrenergic, dopaminergic or serotonergic systems, in addition to a block of the inhibitory GABA system, caused "irrepressible" aggression and a lack of sociability in isolated mice. GABA analogues (phenibut, phenylpyrrolidon) and GABA agonists reduce aggression and increase intraspecies sociability; small doses of GABA antagonists (picrotoxin, bicuculline) exert the opposite effect. GABA may play a key part in the control of aggression and sociability in isolated animals. Selective activation of intraspecies sociability with a concurrent reduction of species-specific aggression requires complex pharmacological action."

Effects of Phenibut and Citrocard on Non-Competitive and Competitive Behavior during Provoked Aggression in Animals. - PubMed - NCBI
"These substances significantly decreased manifestations of aggression in animals: they increased the latency of attacks and reduced their number."
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[Mg2+-ATPase activity of brain mitochondria fractions in chronic stress and its correction by psychotropic agents]. - PubMed - NCBI
"At the inanition stage of animals the chronic stress is shown to inhibit sharply the process of respiration and phosphorylation (by dissociation) and to decrease the content of brain macroergs. The activity of Mg2+-ATPase in the mitochondrial fractions is lowered. It practically restores to the control level against a background of stress with preliminary course of administering nicotinic acid and GABA derivatives (lithonite, nicogamol and phenibut) to rats in average therapeutic doses... It is substantiated to be expedient to apply psychotropic drugs as stress-protectors for normalization of energy metabolism of brain neurons."

[Disorders in brain levels of macroergic substances during chronic stress and their correction by psychotropic agents]. - PubMed - NCBI
"The content of adenylic nucleotides (ATP, ADP and AMP) in different structures of the rat brain (cortex, limbic system, medulla oblongata) was studied in experimental chronic stress (anxiety) as was its correction with psychotropic agents--the derivatives of different chemical compounds. Stress was shown to lead to a dramatic decrease in the content of macroergic constituents in an excess-catabolic stage, largely at the expense of ATP, thereby reducing the adenylate charge. These changes were the most demonstrable in the limbic system. The medulla oblongata was little responsive to stress in this stage. Prophylactic administrations of the tranquilizers exerted a pronounced stress-protective action and made the content of macroergic constituents return to normal. GABA and nicotinic acid derivatives had the highest therapeutic effect."

Comparison of Nootropic and Neuroprotective Features of Aryl-Substituted Analogs of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid. - PubMed - NCBI

The neuroprotective effects of R-phenibut after focal cerebral ischemia. - PubMed - NCBI

[Comparative evaluation of the neuroprotective activity of phenibut and piracetam under experimental cerebral ischemia conditions in rats]. - PubMed - NCBI
"Phenibut and (to a lower extent) piracetam reduced a neuralgic deficiency, amnesia, and the degree of cerebral circulation drop, and improved the spontaneous movement and research activity deteriorated by brain ischemia."

[Effect of benzodiazepine and GABA derivatives on the energy metabolism indices in brain edema]. - PubMed - NCBI
Diazepam (0.5 mg/kg) and phenibut (50 mg/kg) that exert an antiedematous action reduce the amplitude of bioenergetic shifts during edema. As for piracetam (1000 mg/kg) it exhibits an insignificant effect. It is assumed that positive action of diazepam and phenibut on brain bioenergetics in edema is realized via the GABA-ergic system.

[Pharmacological correction of traumatic brain edema]. - PubMed - NCBI
"Diazepam, phenazepam and phenibut were demonstrated to produce a marked antiedematous action. The drugs made water content in the brain return to normal and reduced marked biochemical alterations in the brain."

[The effect of fenibut on the ultrastructure of the brain mitochondria in traumatic edema and swelling]. - PubMed - NCBI
"With phenibut, 50 mg/kg, there is an increase in the number of mitochondria in the brain tissue of the perifocal area, their destructive changes are less pronounced. It is assumed that the positive effect of phenibut on brain bioenergetic processes in the posttraumatic period is associated with the changes."

[The effect of GABA-ergic agents on oxidative phosphorylation in the brain mitochondria in traumatic edema]. - PubMed - NCBI
"Piracetam (1 g/kg), phenibut (50 mg/kg) and to a lesser degree sodium oxybutyrate (0.2 g/kg) prevented the 'changes and enhanced the compensatory capacities of mitochondria during the development of traumatic edema of the brain."
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[Gravidaprotective action of phenibut in experimental pre-eclampsia]. - PubMed - NCBI
"Phenibut improves the vasodilator and antithrombotic endothelial functions, increases uterine blood flow, improves microcirculation, limits lipid peroxidation, and increases the activity of antioxidant enzymes."

[Influence of GABA derivatives on some indices of lipid peroxidation in immunocompetent organs under experimental immunopathology conditions]. - PubMed - NCBI
"On the background of LPS-induced immune stress, all the tested substances showed a correcting action with respect to indicated biochemical processes in the thymus, while only phenibut activated the antioxidant system in the spleen."

[The effect of neurotropic agents on lipid peroxidation in the heart and stomach with neurogenic lesions]. - PubMed - NCBI
"The administration of the neurotropic drugs which restore the activity of the sympathetic nervous system (L-DOPA, aethimizol, fenibut and piracetam) was shown to normalize the processes of lipid peroxidation."
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[The results of the pharmacological treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: evaluation with neuropsychological methods]. - PubMed - NCBI
"The results of neuropsychological testing revealed the improvement of cognitive functions, including the indicators of self-control, sustained, directed and divided attention, acoustic-verbal memory, to the end of treatment."

[Cognitive and emotional impairments in patients with protracted anxiety-phobic disorders]. - PubMed - NCBI
"Protracted APDs were shown to be characterized by the higher degree of psychosomatic symptoms and by more pronounced impairments in attention, memory, and emotional intelligence. The data of post treatment clinical and psychological studies are indicative of improvements in 73.3% of cases."
______________________________________________________________________

[Immune-regulating effect of phenibut under lipopolysaccharide-induced immune stress conditions]. - PubMed - NCBI
"It is found that phenibut (under intraabdominal injection of 25 mg/kg within 5 days) removes the manifestations of hyperreactivity of the cellular link of immunity, and also restores the amount of phagocytic cells, which is evidence of the immunomodulating properties of the drug under conditions of hyperimmunization."

Comparative study of immunocorrective activity of phenibut and its organic salts in experimental immunodeficiency. - PubMed - NCBI
"Phenibut and its derivatives normalized cellular (index of delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction) and humoral (antierythrocyte antibody titer) immunity and the lymphoproliferative processes in immunocompetent organs of animals with cyclophosphamide-induced immunosuppression. This indicates pronounced immunocorrective effects of these substances."

[Fenibut and its citrate prevent psychoneurological disorders caused by chronic stress (paradoxical sleep deprivation)]. - PubMed - NCBI
"The antistress protective action of two structural analogs of GABA, fenibut and its salt with citric acid (fenibut citrate, citrocard, RGPU-147), has been studied using a model of chronic stress caused by seven-fold 24-h deprivation of paradoxical sleep phase at an interval of 24 h between the deprivations. It is established that fenibut and fenibut citrate produce a protective action by (i) reducing the intensity of emotional disorders in the open-field test and elevated plus maze test, (ii) decreasing cognitive disorders in the tests for conditioned avoidance response and extrapolatory deliverance; and (iii) limiting stress reaction due to a decrease in the intensity of adrenal hypertrophy, thymus involution, and stomach mucous membrane ulceration. Fenibut citrate surpasses fenibut in the intensity of antistress protective action."
______________________________________________________________________________

[Effect of fenibut on the fetus and newborn infant after the treatment of gestoses]. - PubMed - NCBI
"Positive fetotropic effect of phenibute resulted in the improvement of fetal CNS, optimization of its functional activity coordinating cardiac and respiratory performance, elimination or partial reduction of intrauterine hypoxia. A single-dosed effect was rapid and lasted for about 5 hrs. It did no harm to fetus or newborn and be recommended as a part of combined treatment for late gestoses."

[Phenibut potentiation of the therapeutic action of antiparkinson agents]. - PubMed - NCBI
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TheHound

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what brand of phenibut were you using? I was using liftmode before I ran out. I'd have to take maybe 1.5-2 grams to really get the good affect that I was looking for
 

Dopamine

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what brand of phenibut were you using? I was using liftmode before I ran out. I'd have to take maybe 1.5-2 grams to really get the good affect that I was looking for

I'm using powder city phenibut and weighing it with a Gemini 20 scale. Have you ever tried lower doses like 500mg? You may be pleasantly surprised. I've found at lower doses the GABA effects are there but there is somewhat less of a dopamine effect (which is probaly the "good affect" you are chasing.)
 
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bobbybobbob

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I've toyed with phenibut. I find it to be a recreational narcotic like marijuana or five drinks.

It can help you chill out and relax if you're wound up from life stressors, but it's more of a coping tool than something for actually getting better. It's really not much different from alcohol in its utility, in my opinion.
 

Dopamine

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I've toyed with phenibut. I find it to be a recreational narcotic like marijuana or five drinks.

It can help you chill out and relax if you're wound up from life stressors, but it's more of a coping tool than something for actually getting better. It's really not much different from alcohol in its utility, in my opinion.

It depends on how you use it. My past month of regular phenibut usage has significantly lowered my stress hormones and chronic depression. "Coping tools" can be used to get better. All nutrition is a coping tool- coping with stress and the need for energy to sustain life. It is a constant effort. Many people take theanine, taurine, niacinamide etc for there GABA effects... phenibut does many of the same things but is significantly stronger in many respects
 
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bobbybobbob

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"Coping tools" can be used to get better.

I don't disagree but I also think opioids and cocaine are legit "tools" in the hands of responsible people. I just group phenibut with that stuff rather than with the pantheon of, say, caffeine and aspirin and methlyene blue.
 

Stryker

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what brand of phenibut were you using? I was using liftmode before I ran out. I'd have to take maybe 1.5-2 grams to really get the good affect that I was looking for

I'm using powder city phenibut and weighing it with a Gemini 20 scale. Have you ever tried lower doses like 500mg? You may be pleasantly surprised. I've found at lower doses the GABA effects are there but there is somewhat less of a dopamine effect (which is probaly the "good affect" you are chasing.)

i take 1 gram first thing in the morning , from expereience the higher doses make my personality reckless , manic and impulsive
 

Dopamine

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i take 1 gram first thing in the morning , from expereience the higher doses make my personality reckless , manic and impulsive

How long have you been using that dose? Do you get withdrawals when you come off it? Any negative side effects?
 

Stryker

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How long have you been using that dose? Do you get withdrawals when you come off it? Any negative side effects?
about 5 months on 1 gram a day , no side effects noted , slight withdrawal after 36h of cessation..little bit of racing thoughts thats all
 

Dopamine

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about 5 months on 1 gram a day , no side effects noted , slight withdrawal after 36h of cessation..little bit of racing thoughts thats all

Wow that's good to hear, i've had similar results. The only side effect i've had is that it takes me longer to get out of bed in the morning... I think from lower stress hormones. Not a big deal though.
 

Peater Piper

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Many people take theanine, taurine, niacinamide etc for there GABA effects... phenibut does many of the same things but is significantly stronger in many respects
I was going to ask why you take Phenibut when there's other options that seem less risky. So you feel it works better than the other GABA receptor agonists, even when using them in combination?
 

Dopamine

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I was going to ask why you take Phenibut when there's other options that seem less risky. So you feel it works better than the other GABA receptor agonists, even when using them in combination?

I haven't tried many GABA receptor agonists besides niacinamide and alcohol- neither could be a replacement for phenibut (niacinamide too weak/alcohol too impairing, bad for liver, expensive, estrogenic etc...). I will try taurine and theanine and see how they compare to phenibut. I do think these substances could be stacked with phenibut and would synergize well... probaly not a replacement though.

Phenibut is strong and it works very well for what I want. I don't think it is very risky if you educate yourself on how it works and use it wisely. I haven't had any problems with it yet except at high doses when I didn't know better. I still only had minor side effects. In Russia it is a clinically prescribed drug and has been well studied.
 

Stryker

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I was going to ask why you take Phenibut when there's other options that seem less risky. So you feel it works better than the other GABA receptor agonists, even when using them in combination?
theanine , niacinamide , taurine , glycine... they dont even begin to touch on the effect that phenibut has
taurine in big doses is probly the closest but has the side effect of stimulating bile and giving weird bowel movements.

phenibut is one of those substances that in my experience if dosed correctly has lots of pros and very little cons
people think its this super bad thing cos of the horror withdrawals but in my eyes it deserves as much merit as caffeine
 

BobbyDukes

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I haven't tried many GABA receptor agonists besides niacinamide and alcohol- neither could be a replacement for phenibut (niacinamide too weak/alcohol too impairing, bad for liver, expensive, estrogenic etc...). I will try taurine and theanine and see how they compare to phenibut. I do think these substances could be stacked with phenibut and would synergize well... probaly not a replacement though.

Phenibut is strong and it works very well for what I want. I don't think it is very risky if you educate yourself on how it works and use it wisely. I haven't had any problems with it yet except at high doses when I didn't know better. I still only had minor side effects. In Russia it is a clinically prescribed drug and has been well studied.

So to use it wisely, you suggest using it in a certain dosage range.

What is the recommended use in Russian clinical practice? Valium is also a clinically prescribed drug.

Are you saying a low dose (indefinitely), comes with no come-back?

I'm sure phenibut feels lovely.
 

Drareg

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Phenibut is one of those for the toolbox imo, if you don't drink for example but want a consciousness shift of sorts it's a good one.
The rumour was the cosmonauts used it for stress/cabin fever,panic essentially, the benzos sedated them,phenibut makes you coherent,quiten the mind. Anyone in a high stress position within a team will know with experience when someone is popping benzos,performance goes down in general.

If you guys prefer phenibut and are also preferring taurine I'm guessing your stress or anxiety could be adrenalin related mainly, I'm not sure if phenibut is specifically acting in that direction,I'm guessing it is.
Phenibut should increase pulse,warm you up, Peat mentioned somewhere about butyric acid helping t3 into the cells.
Adrenalin related response to stress will always cause your perceptions to be fight or flight, this is no good, you become a responder, very little freewill can be excericesed.

What's interesting is the half life and snap back effect of the hdac inhibitors in general,this is where withdrawals can occur, chronic use with hdac inhibitors is not showing long term reversal of issues,nearly all snap back to the old state. You can play the game of managing tolerance but this is tough as we know,also dangerous depending on the mind.

What is worth looking at is another substance that influences adrenalin, lithium does but effects thyroid,it would for your own experience worth tying this on a day where you don't have much on,just to see if adrenalin response is the cause of underlying issues.
The other one is Hydergine and some other ergot derivatives act of adrenergic system it seems,the thing with these substances is they seem to reverse the underlying issue with time,snap effects are not so harsh.
I intent to try Hydergine if I get it and will report.

Anybody know of anything else worth trying that has no severe dependence that can stop adrenaline?
 
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Dopamine

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So to use it wisely, you suggest using it in a certain dosage range.

What is the recommended use in Russian clinical practice? Valium is also a clinically prescribed drug.

Are you saying a low dose (indefinitely), comes with no come-back?

I'm sure phenibut feels lovely.

I'll post again the link to the translation of the Russian dosing instructions:
https://drugs-forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=221041

I'm not sure 100% whether low doses indefinetly would cause long term side effects. The only real issues I could see with phenibut come from GABA receptor down-regulation and subsequent tolerance and withdrawals. I'm guessing this likely won't be a big issue if you stay within the clinically recommended dosage range and my personal experience backs that up. I can't find the studies that demonstrate why certain dosage ranges are used but i'm guessing that over certain doses the potential for tolerance/withdrawal and side effects greatly increases.

The Russian dosing instructions do say:
"During a long course of treatment with phenibut it is necessary to conduct liver function tests" so this is probaly a good idea... I think it's really just precautionary though and standard practice for many medications.

Phenibut is physiologically similar to baclofen and I haven't heard of any long term side effects from baclofen.
 
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Dopamine

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Phenibut is one of those for the toolbox imo, if you don't drink for example but want a consciousness shift of sorts it's a good one.
The rumour was the cosmonauts used it for stress/cabin fever,panic essentially, the benzos sedated them,phenibut makes you coherent,quiten the mind. Anyone in a high stress position within a team will know with experience when someone is popping benzos,performance goes down in general.

If you guys prefer phenibut and are also preferring taurine I'm guessing your stress or anxiety could be adrenalin related mainly, I'm not sure if phenibut is specifically acting in that direction,I'm guessing it is.
Phenibut should increase pulse,warm you up, Peat mentioned somewhere about butyric acid helping t3 into the cells.
Adrenalin related response to stress will always cause your perceptions to be fight or flight, this is no good, you become a responder, very little freewill can be excericesed.

What's interesting is the half life and snap back effect of the hdac inhibitors in general,this is where withdrawals can occur, chronic use with hdac inhibitors is not showing long term reversal of issues,nearly all snap back to the old state. You can play the game of managing tolerance but this is tough as we know,also dangerous depending on the mind.

What is worth looking at is another substance that influences adrenalin, lithium does but effects thyroid,it would for your own experience worth tying this on a day where you don't have much on,just to see if adrenalin response is the cause of underlying issues.
The other one is Hydergine and some other ergot derivatives act of adrenergic system it seems,the thing with these substances is they seem to reverse the underlying issue with time,snap effects are not so harsh.
I intent to try Hydergine if I get it and will report.

Anybody know of anything else worth trying that has no severe dependence that can stop adrenaline?

Good post. I definitely have problems with high adrenaline and subsequent low blood sugar which is the cause of my anxiety. There are certainly other substances that can help with these problems notably b3, b6, theanine, glycine, lysine etc... hydergine sounds interesting.

theanine , niacinamide , taurine , glycine... they dont even begin to touch on the effect that phenibut has
taurine in big doses is probly the closest but has the side effect of stimulating bile and giving weird bowel movements.

phenibut is one of those substances that in my experience if dosed correctly has lots of pros and very little cons
people think its this super bad thing cos of the horror withdrawals but in my eyes it deserves as much merit as caffeine

I agree. Especially in the type of society we live in where most people are under massive stress- societal, nutritional, occupational, etc... GABA agonists can be hugely beneficial coping resources in high stress situations.
 
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Drareg

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Taurine is showing to increase prolactin in some cases, lysine is showing to increase cortisol. They both have good effects though.
If you try smaller amounts of taurine,theanine,niacinamide throughout the day it could curb adrenaline. I wouldn't go above a gram per day.
Once adrenalin is at bay add 5mg dhea and see how it does,some forum members are getting great effect from dhea, I reckon adrenalin was an issue for me with it even at low doses.

With the above you could potentially increase half life and lessen withdrawal effect that may occur in certain situations.

Hydergine can lower prolactin on top of adrenalin effects, lowers serotonin ,this stuff sounds Impressive, it will be interesting to see if it has withdrawals.
 

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