Phenibut Explained: Facts And Subjective Effects

With the increasing scientific discoveries all around the world, the use of nootropics is at an all-time high. People use these for multiple purposes, including getting a good night’s sleep, enhanced cognitive performance, improving memory temporarily, reducing anxiety, among many others. Due to such characteristics of a nootropic, they are trendy among college students and hard-working employees. Among these nootropics, we have the most popular ones that are Modafinil, Ritalin, Adderall, etc. However, Phenibut has been becoming pretty high in demand recently too. In case you need to get more in-depth with Phenibut, here is a complete review of it!

What Is Phenibut?

Phenibut was developed back in the 1960s by Russians, which worked as a central nervous system depressant to treat a variety of problems such as alcoholism, depression, sleep disorders, motion sickness, etc. It is not yet approved as a medicinal drug in Europe or North America, but it is still sold by prescription in Ukraine, Latvia, Russia, and Kazakhstan.

Despite not being available in Europe and North America, it is still widely used by people due to its nootropic and recreational properties. Legally speaking, it is not illegal to sell and possess Phenibut in the US; however, it is illegal to do so in Canada. Similarly, many other states all around the world have different rules and regulations when it comes to possession and selling of this drug.

When it comes to the opinion about using this drug, it is highly variable and controversial. For some, it is an excellent supplement as it helps them fight anxiety and sleep disorders. In contrast, many others are doubtful about it due to a lack of scientific research on it and all the side effects that come with it. Many people also suspect it to be addictive and risky when it comes to dosage, along with all the severe withdrawal symptoms that come with it. Hence, due to this divided opinion, I have written this unbiased review about Phenibut, so that you can have an impression of your own.

Effects Of Phenibut

Despite being a popular drug, there is insufficient research and studies to conclude something with scientific backing. It might be a bummer for people who want scientific references for building confidence in something. As of yet, there have been somewhere over 300 scientific studies on this drug, but most of them are by Russian scientists and are conducted on cells and animals.

However, there are a bunch of claims online about the benefits of this supplement. Still, unfortunately, there is minimal scientific backing to them. In reality, there is a possibility that it holds therapeutic value. However, still, a lot of research is necessary to conclude it.

So, without any further ado, let us get into the various claims about the positive effects of using Phenibut.

Cognitive Enhancement

Similar to other nootropics out there, it is reported that Phenibut enhances cognitive performance by giving a boost to motivation, attention, concentration, and memory. In a clinical trial, 62 patients suffering from a phobia, chronic anxiety, and cognitive impairment enhanced memory, focus, and emotional intelligence with the help of Phenibut in 73% of the cases.

Alternatively, 50 adolescents with ADHD were provided with the same supplement for a month, and the results showed improvements in attention, self-control, along with acoustic-verbal memory.

As far as animals are concerned, there were some impressive results too. Mice that were induced with Phenibut built a tolerance to it, and at the same time, had an increased nootropic effect. On the other hand, for rabbits, it acted as a relaxant and a stimulant by improving the brain’s response to strain.

Relieving Insomnia

One of the main uses for Phenibut in Russia was to help people that had sleep disorders. Although the available studies are limited, it did help in clinical trials of patients who have insomnia. For instance, in several reports, it helped decrease anxiety levels and allowed people to sleep peacefully.

Decreasing Aggression And Anxiety

When it comes to controlling or minimizing anxiety and aggression in a person, Phenibut has been used as a supplement to help. For instance, in a clinical trial conducted with 62 people who had anxiety, 79% of them had a reduction in their anxiety with the help of Phenibut. It also helped improve sleep, reduce fatigue, and enhance energy levels. In another clinical trial, 62 participants who had anxiety-phobic disorders had enhanced emotional intelligence and a reduction in anxiety after consuming Phenibut.

As people with higher emotional intelligence are better at handling their relationships and controlling their emotions, those who suffered from social anxiety used Phenibut to gain the emotional intelligence they wanted. This was another reason for the popularity of this supplement among people all around the world.

As far as the tests on animals are concerned, it had a substantial impact on active rabbits. This supplement reduced stress-induced anxiety and fear and allowed them to escape stressful situations efficiently. So, in animals, it helped decrease both competitive and defensive aggression, and make them more efficient in stressful situations.

Tension Headaches

Apart from just reducing anxiety, Phenibut has reportedly helped reduce tension headaches as well. A trial that consisted of 30 adolescents and children showed improvements in productivity, sleep, everyday functioning, and anxiety. All of these are major factors that cause headaches. Overall, there was a significant decrease in the intensity, duration, and frequency of the headaches.


Although the evidence is not sufficient enough to conclude the effects of Phenibut on stuttering, a trial of 30 children with stuttering showed that this supplement reduced it in 67% of the cases.


High blood pressure causes anxiety, and anxiety can ultimately lead to dizziness. A clinical trial that consisted of 58 participants with high blood pressure showed that consuming 500mg of Phenibut per day reduced anxiety, dizziness, and lack of energy.

Alcohol Dependence

According to a review on Russian experiments, Phenibut helps limit withdrawal symptoms of alcoholism. For instance, in one clinical trial with 22 participants, there was an improved sleep with the help of Phenibut in alcoholics at the early stages of withdrawal. It also helped limit alcoholic behavior in experimental animals with chronic alcoholism. So, if you put these together, although not sufficient, there are still some researches and trials that are evident to the claims about Phenibut helping with alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Increasing Resistance To Heat

Working in extreme conditions can make a person tired and make the body hot due to the high temperatures. It can also cause health problems and difficulties in adapting to the environment. However, in one trial, Phenibut, combined with Obsidan, increased the resistance to heat of the body.

Side Effects

Just like all the drugs/supplements out there, Phenibut comes with its side effects as well. As I discussed earlier, one of the primary reasons why people don’t prefer using it, and it is unlawful in many states, is the fact that it has some side effects too.

First of all, no drug must be taken without consulting a doctor. Secondly, due to the lack of research and minimal clinical tests, it is hard to conclude the long term effects of using Phenibut. Moreover, the side effects vary from person to person, depending on their health and other variables.

Nevertheless, here are some of the side effects of using Phenibut.

  1. Although a couple of clinical trials showed that it helps with headaches, one of the side effects of using this drug is headaches.
  2. Apart from helping people with high blood pressure, it can cause low blood pressure and a significantly lower heart rate due to it.
  3. It also causes loss of consciousness at times.
  4. Although it helps people with sleep disorders, it can cause excessive sleepiness and sedation.
  5. It can cause hallucinations, nausea, vomiting, and agitation.
  6. It can give you feelings of electric shocks in legs and arms.
  7. Serotonin syndrome is also one of the potential side effects.

However, keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list of all the side effects. It may vary depending on your health and other variables. So, it is essential that you receive proper guidance from the doctor before you use it.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Many addictives come with severe withdrawal symptoms. For instance, alcohol and cigarettes are one of the most common ones that have extreme withdrawal symptoms, which is why it becomes so hard for people to leave them. Similar to other drugs, Phenibut has some serious withdrawal symptoms as well. Here are some of the most prominent ones.

  1. It can cause severe rebound anxiety to the user. It means that if you used it to help you with your anxiety, as soon as you leave it, the anxiety is going to come back worse.
  2. It can cause panic attacks, which is pretty typical for such recreational drugs.
  3. You might feel restlessness and irritation.
  4. There is a high probability of sleeplessness, dizziness, fatigue, and loss of appetite.
  5. You may feel hallucinations, heart palpitations, confusion, and muscle twitches.
  6. Nausea and enhanced sensitivity to sound and light are also pretty common.

Tolerance to the drug may develop quickly, which leads to people consuming higher dosages, making it difficult to withdraw. It also worsens the withdrawal symptoms over time as people get used to the calming effect of the drug. Also, the severity depends on how long the person has used the drug and the dosages at which he/she consumed it.


For anxiety, it is recommended that you consume 250–500mg Phenibut per day three times a day. The maximum single dose for a person under the age of 60 is 750mg. As far as the course of treatment is concerned, typically, it is 2-3 weeks, but if necessary, it can be extended 4–6 weeks. However, there is still no evidence to conclude the optimal dosage as users report variable dosages.


Overdosing on Phenibut has some severe problems. For instance, a case stated that overdosing on Phenibut caused seizures while walking, low body temperature, confusion, and reduced consciousness. In another case, a man who overdosed on Phenibut suffered from sleepiness, agitation, and muscle jerking. So, it is essential that you get the proper dosage to avoid any of the aforementioned problems.


In a nutshell, we can conclude that although Phenibut has its side effects and problems related to overdose, it is still a good drug for controlling anxiety and sleeping disorders such as insomnia. Not only does it have very minimal scientific backing to the claims, but it also has some severe withdrawal symptoms as well.

So, what do you think about Phenibut? Do you side with people that use it to help fight against anxiety, sleep disorders, and other problems, or do you think that there are better alternatives out there?

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